Dear All,
Greetings!

I returned a few weeks ago from Manipur after the first-of-its-kind youth and community festival was conducted in Manipur as part of the Knowledge FAN project in the north east.
The festival was attended by 300+ youth and communities from over 30 organisations across the two states. Key stakeholders including Dr. K. Pramodkumar, Project Director Manipur State AIDS Control Society, Mr. Ng. Nongyai, Honourable Member, Human Rights Commission, Mr. Sanajoaba, Deputy Director, Social Welfare Department, Advocate Hemanta, Lawyers Collective, L. Deepak, Manipur Positive Network, Mr. Sushil Huidrom, UNAIDS and other UN agencies, media and school- and college-going youth, among many others joined the festival. The programme was led, anchored and documented by youth and communities themselves.
A book capturing Knowledge FAN's processes and its key learnings was recently published -- which is also available online: http://chp.community.officelive.com/FANPublicationbook.aspx. Further information about the project may be found here: http://chp.community.officelive.com/KnowledgeFAN.aspx
I look forward to keeping you posted on developments with the next phases of the project and how many budding FAN's of Knowledge in NE are doing!
With kind regards,
Ash
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About Knowledge FAN
KnowledgeFAN is a community-led knowledge initiative which engages vulnerable young people and communities at-risk of HIV (including IDU, MSM, sex workers and PLHIV) in the process of exchanging local knowledge about HIV, health and human rights.

Knowledge FAN was implemented with the support of the Embassy of Sweden and UNAIDS in the 2 high HIV prevalence north eastern states of Manipur and Nagaland. The Center for Human Progress (CHP) in Delhi, Care Foundation and Galaxy Club in Manipur and Kripa Foundation and Prodigals' Home in Nagaland were key implementing agencies of the Knowledge FAN initiative in the north east. Knowledge FAN engaged 22 partners (and sub-partners) spanning the 2 states in the north east.

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Comment by Ash Pachauri on April 13, 2010 at 10:41pm
Dear Ronny, thank you and all at Care Foundation (as well as all our other partners) for making FAN a great success! Thanks for all your support and for managing the emotions of participants as you provided tremendous logistical support as well as other invaluable support to hundreds of communities visiting from many different, far-off locations across the 2 states. That is always a challenging task -- especially as people travel long distances, have different travel schedules, likings for food and accommodation etc. We GREATLY appreciate your tremendous contribution in so many ways! We have made special mention of our gratitute to Care Foundation, especially Ashok who tirelessly worked with us through the duration of the project on the front page of the Knowledge FAN publication: http://chp.community.officelive.com/Documents/Fan%20Page%201%20FAN.pdf We would like you to know that we have received very positive feedback from the participant group and organisations on their experience with the project. Your/care foundation's contribution and that of our partners has been critical in ensuring this. All our partners were equally, financially compensated for their time and effort on Knowledge FAN. Thank you again!
Comment by Ronny Waikhom on April 13, 2010 at 11:05am
Dear Ash,
Care Foundation needs special mention in your brief report, after what it has gone through to make it (FAN) a success. I personally, although not involved much, had to answer to different (angered) calls and pacify many individuals both from Nagaland and Manipur. Anyway! I really thank our team from Care Foundation for their tireless and dedicated efforts that they have contributed, solely on volunteerism spirit, for both the events that took place in Manipur and Nagaland.
Comment by Ash Pachauri on April 12, 2010 at 4:20pm
Dear Rituu,

Thank you so much!

With warm regards,
Ash
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 12, 2010 at 3:56pm
Dear Ash,

Thanks for this detailed note. Training youth in documentation and giving them hands-on experience through the event is a critical output of the project. Good luck, friend.

Regards,

Rituu
Comment by Ash Pachauri on April 12, 2010 at 2:48pm
Dear Rituu,

Thank you so much for your email and kind interest in understanding the potential opportunities, from our perspective, of working in the north east as well as our experience of conducting a youth- and community-led documentation exercise to capture the key learnings from the project.

A few key opportunities of working in the north east based on our experience include: 1) Tremendous potential to make a difference. E.g., the prevailing security situation and other factors (e.g., difficult terrain and lack of basic infrastructure, unemployment) make this a difficult region. Therefore, there is great potential to make a difference. 2) Powerful community motivation to make a positive difference and contribute to welfare of people in their communities and society as a whole. 3) Great appreciation for good work. The community truly appreciates a sincere intention to make a difference and is quite willing to join in with full force to lend strength to the effort. All this allows for a positive environment to support change.

We have been working with young people and communities in the north east and have found that they are quite willing to learn new documentation skills, e.g., videography, photography etc. and practice them. As a result we have trained several youth and communities in use of creative tools to tell stories. A number of these trained young people and community members joined us to support the documentation of the project. They were given verbal and written briefs on the project, including pre-existing notes (and documentation) to read and review. The entire project management team and documentation experts spent a number of days working through the design of expected outputs and planning the actual documentation exercise. All this added value and support to the actual documentation activity.

With many thanks for all your support and advice throughout the project,
Ash
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on April 11, 2010 at 9:59am
Dear Ash,

Thanks for sharing this report. Well done! The report strongly brings out the value of cross-community sharing and how it can lead to better understanding of each others issues and creates solidarity.

The report notes specific challenges of working in the Northeast India. What do you think are the strengths of this region?

There is a mention of documentation of the event by the youth. Please can you explain how it was done. The pre-event briefing, the language of taking notes and compilation and so on. I would love to learn more about it.

Look forward to next phase of the project.

Warm regards,

Rituu

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