Digital Young Journalists, DYJ, is a project aimed at promoting journalism and public speaking skills among children and the youths. It is a platform of constructively engaging youth and protecting them from being vulnerable to harmful social activities. Most schools have journalism as one of the clubs for the students but they have no professional structure and tools to make the clubs impactful. DYJ fills this gap by partnering schools and holiday based programs to strengthen the journalism clubs and provide a platform for the children and youths to express themselves. I have been a professional journalist for over 10 years having been inspired into the field when I started handling cameras immediately after high school. I have nurtured that passion and now use it as a profession and also as a way of impacting the society around me. The Digital Young Journalists project was started aas a means to inspire and discover young talents. I work with student volunteers and interns from journalism colleges around. So far I have worked with 10 schools directly through their journalism clubs and presentations to the whole school during assemblies and parents forums. I have a particular interest in influencing my mentees to use their journalistic skills for community development beyond the sheer need to earn a decent living. This I believe makes them responsible and dependable individuals in the community.
The seed grant from The Pollination Project allowd me to procure two cameras, which were actively used in training the target groups. Furthermore, the funding provided a means to upload the edited content onto social media platforms such as YouTube and WhatsApp. This has created more awareness on the Digital Young Journalists project.
With the Impact Grant, we will equip the resource center with extra professional cameras, a large screen TV for demonstrations during group work, and register the resource center as a vocational training center with the government and build the website to showcase stories. We intend to scale up the DYJ activities by installing journalism clubs and training the journalists in five more schools in the next two years, 2019 and 2020.