Foroba Blon is the name of the newest project by the W4RA team from VU University Amsterdam, Web Foundation and Sahel Eco. This is a project on development of voice technologies for innovation in support of free press in developing countries.
The name chosen for this new project, which will support and benefit community radio in Mali is very special, in two words: FOROBA BLON, in Bambara, a Malian language.
FOROBA literally means “big field” or “collective field” but the signification is “for everyone” BLON = the vestibule where the chief holds his audience. Together they signify the large room or space where everyone has the right to speak in front of the chief; the truth can be told; but only if you do it respectfully, without insulting anyone.
If you are wondering how to say it its three short equal syllabi. Fo-ro-ba then the accent on Blon (di-di-di-daaaaa).
We think it conveys very well the idea of citizen journalism.
Many thanks to Diarra Fousseyni, from ORTM Ségou, who suggested this meaningful name for our project.
The Foroba Blon project has been selected by the International Press Institute (IPI), with two other projects, out of 376 submissions! To organize this contest, IPI received a grant from Google.
FOROBA BLON started in January 2012 and is funded by the International Press Institute.