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Blogging reaches out further

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Stilgherrian was in Africa trialling Project TOTO (The Overseas Training Operation), which aims to send experienced bloggers overseas to set up blog outposts, which are intended to provide an inside look at real life in the specific country, region or village.

Setting up the outposts involves training locals to use social media tools such as Twitter and blogs, as well as supplying technical equipment, such as cameras and laptops. ActionAid said that Stilgherrian will create a ‘how-to’ manual based on his experiences, to be used for future expeditions, as well as providing one-on-one support for the next outreach blogger.

ActionAid Australia CEO Archie Law said “By giving poor people a voice through social media tools such as twitter and blogs, we are giving them a new medium through which to claim their rights, while giving outsiders an intimate view of the realities of poverty.”

“What we’re after in the next outreach logger is someone open-minded who loves adventure and isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty. “We’re looking for someone who can relate to people from different cultures and has empathy with the challenges poor people face.”

The next blogger could be sent to a number of locations. “The sorts of locations we’re looking at for the next outreach blogger are places like Cox Bazaar in Bangladesh, which is one of the largest refugee camps in the world.

“Other options might be training slum dwellers in Brazil to speak out about their rights or Tsunami survivors in India who are rebuilding their lives through an ActionAid micro-credit scheme. These are the stories we want to get out there.”

Law said the organisation plans to send the next blogger by Christmas. Those wishing to nominate themselves or a friend will need to register their interest here by 30th August 2009.

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