Wellcome Trust grant to support SEACO’s citizen science reporters initiative
The SEACO team won a Wellcome Trust International Engagement Award for an initiative to engage the community in Segamat in 'Research for a health community: SEACO Citizen Science Reporters' (SEACO CSR). SEACO CSR is funded for 22 months to train members of the community from all age groups as citizen journalists. By combining citizen science and citizen journalism (in partnership with Citizen Journalism Malaysia (CJMy), it aims to improve health literacy and build skills within local communities while at the same time involving community members in the identification of health priorities. Groups representing a range of ages and ethnicities will be taught how to make video documentaries about the health issues their community faces. Trained citizen science reports will be well placed to explore public health needs and priorities with other community members, share their findings and perspectives through the videos they produce and feed-back to SEACO's public health team.
The project has now completed its first phase. One pilot and three full training workshops have been delivered. In total, 42 community members and 14 staff have been trained. Participants in the workshop were also shown how to upload videos onto YouTube. Individuals decide who they would like to share those videos with. Some may decide only to share videos with family and friends or perhaps other community members. They may also decide to make those videos visible to SEACO and CJMy. The participants have produced a number of videos that highlight issues such as living with cancer, betel leaf addiction, disability, and a range of environmental health issues.