EKEGUSII ENCYCLOPEDIC PROJECT
JULY 2011 BULLETIN
DEVELOPMENTS SINCE JANUARY
We stepped back after going online just to see the reaction and it's encouraging. With the dictionary up and running, there has been less to report each month, but things have been happening behind the scenes.
Both of us (Mr. Kennedy Bosire and Mrs. Gladys Machogu) have returned to Mombasa from Nairobi where we went to do two lectures at both the Nairobi and Kenyatta Universities on areas specific to our work and on the status of the indigenous languages of Kenya.
We also gave two radio presentations on the same topics and left several print media houses promising to have pull-out features on our work, as we reach out to other communities to document their languages.
This 'advocacy campaign' helped create awareness and gave publicity to both the website and the paper version of the dictionary, where considerable funding is still needed.
Other national organizations were keen to know how our project will help revitalize and motivate indigenous language speakers to transmit their languages to their children.
POSSIBLE TELEVISION AND RADIO APPEARANCES
We are likely to give two TV presentations in the comings weeks with one media house eager to give a regular radio program based on our works. We hope to have more on this soon.
All these efforts are aimed at creating awareness of what we have done and increasing publicity.
They are also a way of reaching out to others and trying to create individual as well as community interests towards language documentation in line with our new country's constitution.
We are continually updating the encyclopedic works as well as the dictionaries.
There is every likelihood that I will be headed to the University of Kansas next summer, as a member of the Colang-InField program organizing committee, leaving Mrs. Machogu, lead researcher, to handle the presentation of our works during the Institute's bi-annual program.
Ekegusii Encyclopedia Project (EEP) is dedicated to Ekegusii; aiming to encourage its use, promotion, preservation and revitalization.
The language is endangered, because although young people are aware of Ekegusii, the world does not encourage its use. Kiswahili and English are the languages of commerce in Kenya, and they are slowly causing Ekegusii to fade away. Already it is a language spoken mainly by the elderly.
If Ekegusii is to survive, authoritative reference materials must be available as paper copies in libraries, but also on-line, so that the young will be encouraged to use them. For the Abagusii, their language is part of their identity and their reality.
Ekegusii must be preserved, and action has to be taken now, whilst enough fluent speakers remain to oversee it.
You can support our effort by making a voluntary donation, by buying promotional materials, or becoming a member by subscription.
Please support us. All donations will be used to preserve, promote and revitalize this language.
K.M.B. / Ekegusii Encyclopedia Project
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