"Blogs for African Women (BAWo)" Mentoring Project was created by Ore Somolu and Sokari Ekine as a way of encouraging and supporting Africans who want to start blogging. Initially there will be a pilot project limited to Nigerian women.
This is a project for Nigerian women and girls who want to start blogging or who are new to blogging, with special emphasis on girls and women living in Nigeria. There are many factors which discourage Nigerians from using the Internet and other Communication Technologies (ICTs), such as no or limited access to the Internet, erratic electricity supply, and low literacy levels. A cursory browse of the Nigerian blogosphere will show that male bloggers make up the majority of Nigerian bloggers and Nigerians in the diaspora account for a larger number of all Nigerian bloggers. This project will aim to address some of these disparities by encouraging more Nigerian girls and women to start blogging. This project will be the first to mentor African bloggers and, if successful, will serve as a model for programs with expanded target groups.
The initial project consists of girls recruited from Laureates College in Lagos. The girls will be encouraged to share their own stories via weblogs. The project will consist of two parts. In the first, “mentors” will start each week’s discussion by posting on a particular topic. The mentees will be expected to post comments in response to these posts, at least three times each week. Mentees may also post on other topics throughout the week as well. This part of the project will last for five months.
For the second part, which will last four months, mentees will each be expected to start-up a blog of their own, or continue an existing blog. Mentors will be available to guide them with this process. We will require that they post at least once a week on their blog. Once a month, mentees will be expected to post on an assigned topic on their own blog. The main project blog will link to the blogs of all the mentees and so will serve as both a hub of all the project’s activities and as an archive.
- To encourage Nigerian women who want to start blogging and support those who recently started blogging, particularly women living in Nigeria
- To help balance gender disparity in blogging
- To encourage Nigerian women to report their own stories as an alternative to mainstream media
- To increase the amount of locally-relevant content available on the Internet
- To encourage a love for writing and reading
- To promote weblogs as a method of democratic expression
- To encourage more Nigerian women to think about how to incorporate other technology tools into their lives
We would like to thank the following:
Mr & Mrs Somolu for provding the venue and equipment for the project through Laureates College.