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The why, the how, the what and the who behind the Wajenzi campaign

On this page you find more information about the Wajenzi platform and network, why it was established and by whom. Here you also find information on how you can participate in spreading the Wajenzi word to reach an even greater audience. You can download the campaign materials and share within your (digital) community.

Why, what & how

Why

All over the world in (post-)conflict areas, individuals and organisations are working to enact change and promote peace. Due to limited publicity, these changemakers and their communities often aren’t aware of other initiatives being carried out in their own area or across the country.

Changemakers also often have trouble connecting with one another. And at the same time, many community members don’t know how to contribute and lack positive role models in their near surrounding.

What

Wajenzi is a platform and network for young changemakers from the North and South Kivu region in D.R. Congo. ‘Wajenzi Wa Amani’ is Swahili for ‘builders of peace’. This reflects the character of and the activities done by the young changemakers. Wajenzi are those people who make a difference by simple acts in their everyday lives or in that of others. They are the drivers of social change. This campaign offers a platform for these often unheard stories, to support the efforts of young changemakers and to spread the word.

How

Wajenzi has a campaign cycle of three phases.

The first phase of Wajenzi is to encourage young changemakers to share their initiatives. Wajenzi strives to find as many young changemakers as possible with help from the community. The Wajenzi team requests people to submit their own Wajenzi. They will then call up and create portraits of the young changemakers from the Kivu region in the D.R. Congo whose activities fit the Wajenzi campaign.

The second phase is to spread the showcased initiatives through various media channels and networks. The audience can give their support by sending a message on the Wajenzi profiles. These messages, submitted in the Shout Out boxes on the profiles, are sent directly to the specific Mjenzi* as an SMS In addition, the audience can vote for their favourite Wajenzi. The most inspiring changemakers will be awarded during an award ceremony. This festive ending of the campaign is the starting point for the third phase.

In the third phase, those Wajenzi who have gained most votes are connected through a mobile phone network. Within this network, they can exchange their successes, tips and tools, pose questions, as well as share their experiences and challenges. They can send their requests by calling or texting to our Wajenzi number. This number is linked to a database system, which makes it possible for all Wajenzi to be connected with their peers who could answer their requests.

Wajenzi starts as a network of young changemakers from the Kivu region in the D.R. Congo. We aim to create a Wajenzi movement in a larger area, namely Burundi, Rwanda and the entire country of the D.R. Congo.







How can you participate?

There are many ways you can join the Wajenzi movement.

Do you want to nominate someone?

If you think you are a Mjenzi or do know someone who is, you can submit that person by clicking here. But make sure the Mjenzi fits the criteria. The Wajenzi actions or initiatives should be;
  • Youth-originated: initiatives from youth (18 to 35 years);
  • Personal: initiatives set up and led by individuals or small groups;
  • Positive: initiatives that lead to positive change;
  • Non-judgmental: initiatives that do not condemn or exclude others;
  • Inspirational: initiatives that incite peers to take action themselves no matter what resources or status you may have.
For an overview of all criteria, click on the download link on the right.

Do you want to nominate someone?

Firstly, you can send a Shout Out message to a Mjenzi, you find the Shout Out box on the bottom of his or her profile. This message can be maximum 159 characters in length, because it will be automatically sent as an SMS to him or her. This way you are sure your support will reach him or her directly.

If you want to spread a specific Mjenzi story, you can do so by clicking on the Facebook button on the Mjenzi profile. The Mjenzi story will be transformed into a Facebook post, so that your Facebook network will know about the Mjenzi you support.

Also, from phase 2 of the Wajenzi campaign onwards, you can also vote for your favourite Mjenzi by clicking on the Vote-button on his or her profile. The Wajenzi who will have most votes will be adopted into the mobile network and will receive prizes such as trainings and equipment.

Download the campaign materials so that you can put the banner on your Facebook wall, use the jingle in your radio show, etc.

Are you a journalist, a broadcasting station or in any other way involved in positive storytelling?

Perhaps you are a journalist, a host at a radio station or a programmer at a TV station and you are looking for new and inspiring content. The Wajenzi campaign invites you to (re-)publish the Wajenzi stories in your own network, platform or shows. On the Wajenzi profiles you can download or copy the textual, audio- or visual stories for your own use. You can also download other campaign materials by clicking on the buttons below.

Do you want to participate as a partner?

We are always looking for partners who can give support in any way. If you think you can be of added value, drop us a line at hello@wajenzi.co

Who we are

Wajenzi is the result of a co-creation workshop that took place in Bukavu, D.R. Congo in June 2013. During this workshop, representatives from media organisations, NGO’s, youth representatives and artists joined forces to co-create a campaign and a platform for social change. The aim was to reward young changemakers and inspire the opinion leaders of tomorrow.

Wajenzi is part of the ‘Roadmap To Peace’ programme of Oxfam Novib and Radio La Benevolencija. It is a regional programme (D.R. Congo, Burundi and Rwanda) to support organisations and civil society to play a key role in the construction of peace and to end regional conflict.

Founders

Oxfam Novib, Radio la Benevolencija, Radio Netherlands Worldwide and Butterfly Works joined forces in making Wajenzi kick off.

Butterfly Works is the initiator and concept developer of Wajenzi. The Wajenzi concept is inspired by experiences of Butterfly Works in running ‘Unsung Peace Heroes’ and ‘Building Bridges’, which are peace mapping campaigns in Kenya.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide secures that Wajenzi stands for an open exchange of ideas and stories. Also, their local team members are part of producing the Wajenzi (audiovisual) stories that are found on the profile pages.

Radio La Benevolencjia is the project manager in D.R. Congo and allign the Wajenzi activities with other projects and initiatives in the region.

Oxfam Novib supported Wajenzi from the very first start and keeps an eye on the regional impact of the activities.

Journalists and media

Independent journalists play an important role in the campaign. They are the storytellers and provide people from all layers of the society with inspiring stories and practical examples. They have the capacities to reach out to a broad audience on a local, regional and international level. From youth in a village nearby and regional policy makers to the international media.

The media network within the Kivu’s region plays a big role in sharing stories of the young changemakers and invite new change makers to join the network. Local and international media help us spread the word. Radio stations for example broadcast Wajenzi stories and call up for entries and voting. The stories and profiles of the young changemakers inspire other media formats such as debates, theater, music and printed media.



* The word “Wajenzi” is the Swahili word for “builders”. The word “Mjenzi” is the singular form of Wajenzi.