Saturday, September 8, 2012

The PhotoVoice Experience

The first stage of the Widowhood Rites project was a pilot phase implemented in the Fondom of Baba1 last year. In order to judge the impact that the project has had on the Fondom, a group of VSO and MUSAB volunteers visited the Fondom this past week to do an evaluation through a series of interviews with those involved in the project. We met with the Fon, or traditional ruler, of Baba1, as well as other leaders in the community and those who have been involved in the advocacy groups working on behalf of the widows. We also spoke with widows themselves to see how their lives have changed since the advocates began working with them.

An important part of this evaluation was the PhotoVoice initiative. Past participants in the project and current members of advocacy groups were given cameras and instructed on how to use them. They were then given three days to go into the community to meet with the people there and take pictures to show the impact of the project and the challenges that remain for widows. What follows are my pictures of how the PhotoVoice workshops took place.

Prior to receiving their cameras, past participants met with VSO and MUSAB volunteers to discuss their views of what has happened in their community over the past year with respect to the experience of widows.

Cameras were then provided to pairs of people who would work together over the following three days.

A workshop session was then held with the participants to teach them how to use the digital cameras.

Those of us wth experience using the cameras then worked with the group members to ensure they were comfortable using them. Zachary was one of the participants that I helped.

Other methods of evaluation also took place during this time.
Here, Mandy talks with
Mallam Ali regarding his own experience of working with widows.

After three days, the group reassembled and the pictures were put on laptops. People were encouraged to tell the stories behind their pictures and the changes or challenges that exist for widows.

Participants were asked to select three of their pictures to share
with the group and also could pick ten pictures for themselves
that will be printed and provided to them at a later date as thanks for their participation.

Each member of the group then took a turn to show and discuss the pictures that they had taken.

The pictures and stories told were by turns inspiring and heartbreaking, as we learned about how much the situation has improved for widows and how much is still needed to be done.

The daughter of one of the group members kept us all entertained during the sessions.

The assembled team of PhotoVoice participants.
It was a great experience to work with so many people
who are passionate about helping their community.

1 comment:

cochrane said...

Cool project, Glenn. Thanks for the update and your team's work to make a difference.