This is a unique scholarship, as the high school student works with his or her community while going to school, forming a bridge between the poverty-stricken township and the first-world town of Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
Each term, the student must do a community project (like Drug Awareness Week) within the township. Thus, we hope to bring people together and cross the divide between haves and have-nots in South Africa. Also, since the student is a member of the community, he or she is in the best position to find out what is truly needed in the community and get help from the school and fellow students to make that a reality.
Lulama Mpongoshe is our first Rose Scholar, and he started in January 2014. See more at http://www.thinkingrose.com/community/rose-scholar.html. The scholarship is already funded. This kickstarter is to purchase a camera for our Rose Scholar to document his work.
This is just one facet of the Rose Project. The Rose Project includes many projects (such as forthcoming books, card games, and community outreach) to form connections and communities while we create a new language. As part of the Rose Project, students from Victoria Park HIgh School, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, did most of the illustrations for the Rose letters. They donated the artist royalties to the Rose Scholarship. Please track our progress--and be a part of things at http://www.thinkingrose.com.
This Kickstarter Project--What We Need Now
We need a camera, which would live at the school, under lock and key. Then Lulama and other future Rose scholars could use this camera to document the lives of the township and their projects. Internet access is expensive, and there is no internet access in the township. Thus, the proceeds from this project would cover:
Camera ($100) to document life and projects.
Internet cafe, transport, and internet time for this school year ($120) to upload images.
The other $20 was for the kickstarter fees, but I will kick in that so there can be more for the uploading budget.
In Rose, each letter corresponds to a concept. (For example: d is distance and could be close, middle or far; e is time and could be past, present, or future; n is a highest truth, honest, or dishonest; and a could be top, middle, or bottom. My name is translated into these concepts in the illustration. The first few backers will get their name as this digital signature. (I pledge never to use this color or design again for any other signatures--so you will have a unique gift.)
I will provide these signatures if you contact me now with your email address now--even before the Kickstarter ends--and then you can share these new insights with your friends and colleagues now, so they can get in on it, too.
What You Get for Pledging
This is a "practice run" for a much larger Kickstarter in June 2014. In that Kickstarter, we will be asking for money to print plastic cards with the Rose Language. As you can see here, the chance to get your name in Rose is very limited. It will also be limited in the next Kickstarter. But if you pledge now, you will be on the early mailing list. Then you can get first crack at those names--so you can give names to your family, friends, etc. And you will get the most advance notice of any other projects (like Rose language dice, tattoo books, etc. etc.) because you were in on the very beginning.
Risks and challenges
This is the "dress rehearsal" before we go live with a major Kickstarter in June to fund production of the plastic set of cards for the Rose language. We are going forward with at least the journal, but the cards would make this come alive. The risks are that this is in the early stages, so acts of Fate could happen. but we have the materials crafted and ready to go, so... But at any rate, I took the money from my retirement savings for Lulama's Rose scholarship, so he will have the funds to go to Victoria Park High School for 3 years. So, we will have at least 3 years of photos...worst case scenario. Best case--the Rose Project takes off, we fund more Rose scholars from the artist royalties, and we get lots and lots of community projects. . . .
Getting the pictures
Getting a camera into the township will not be easy. Nor will it be easy to transmit pictures--internet access is sporadic. I was there in the townships with Lulama as my guide, and did not dare take anything more than about $5 US (a huge sum). I did not take a camera.
So, the camera could be stolen, the digital images might not be great quality, etc. However, that is really not the point here, is it? The point is that we are reaching out to Lulama and other Rose scholars to build communities across the world--from the inside out.
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