The Committee to Protect Bloggers embark on an exciting new project:
It’s called Blogswana and it is a project to increase HIV/AIDS education in the African country of Botswana through blogging.
Blogswana is an effort to practice what we preach. The one-year pilot project will work with a group of about 20 college students from one of the major universities, and provide them with blogging and journalism expertise and guidance. They would commit to a year of “blogging for others.” Each student participant would start their own blog, as well as a blog for their “partner” (the person for whom they will blog). Each partner would be someone who has been effected in some way by the AIDS virus.
The 20 pairs of blogs would be linked to a common blog. The latest post from each of the non-student blogs would be funnelled to the Blogswana blog. If the project bore fruit, it could be rapidly scaled up, using students at universities around the continent and world.
The idea is to bring voices from the far side of the digital divide into the global conversation and to rehumanize AIDS in a time where the west has seen AIDS-related mortality decline. By blogging about a person first, the disease will be seen again, we hope, in terms of its human context. AIDS in Africa is, for many in the west, a combination of statistics and abstract tragedy.