Constructive Journalism Lab – Meet the fellows

More than 300 media workers applied but DW Akademie has now selected 15 outstanding journalists from Africa and the Middle East who'll be trained in Constructive Journalism. ‘Reinventing and Adapting Through Coronavirus’ by Kenyan Photographer, Gordwin Odhiambo, is a project that gives the viewers a glimpse of the shifts and changes that took place in Gordwin’s home city, Kibera, due to a global pandemic. COVID-19 was (and still is) a menace to society today, with many people unfortunately losing their jobs, sanity and even their lives to this virus. Despite the bleak and rather depressing nature of this topic, Gordwin chose to focus his lens on not only the turmoil and destruction that this disease has caused but the way it has led communities to come together, with local business’s restructuring and adapting to new ways of serving the public better.

  • Constructive Journalism - 2021.

During the fellowship, my project focused on healthcare access amidst the Covid-19 pandemic in Kibera. Situated just about 6 kilometers from Nairobi’s central business district, Kibera is characterized by overcrowding, insufficient infrastructure, and limited access to health care facilities. About 7000 people live in an approximately 1100-acre area, with most families sharing small houses. The overcrowding made social distancing, self-isolation, and maintaining other Covid-19 prevention measures virtually impossible throughout the pandemic, making the need for vaccines and medical access even more vital. My approach to the constructive aspect was how the pandemic drove organizations into new health tech adoption and fastened the channeling of resources to better care for the people they serve. My research also delved into new data, its integration, and analysis. My primary aim was to bring relevant visual data information into focus and to assist healthcare organizations on how to implement the visualizations available in digital format to improve tools of data integration. My sources of visual research included public and private hospitals, community clinics, and traditional home medical treatments. My primary visual collaborating partners were; Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Carolina For Kibera (CFK), Human Needs Project (HNP), community clinics, Map Kibera and the Aga Khan Hospital. These organizations provided valuable insights into the development of covid-19 healthcare, its sensitization, and eventual success in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. While previous healthcare data existed, organizations found themselves in a world where they had to create new systems for fetching data. Difficulties in getting the right data were a huge challenge. I also relied on international humanitarian agencies for global data access since they already had key insights into the situation of the pandemic. My project also explored local situation like, community stigma for people having the virus, the number of people who died, the number of people who accessed ambulances in need, the number of people who overstayed in hospitals, and how communities were Mobilizing against misinformation It was an urgent time, for those working, and there was a need wanted to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as soon as possible. Disarming and disinformation marred the community, and the challenge of curbing the spread were stifled by increased stigma for those affected.