MountainVoices.org

Website review by
Conny Coon, Common Sense Media
MountainVoices.org Website Poster Image
Fascinating interviews for teens with curiosity and stamina.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

The interviews found on this site are full of
strength, hope, and inspiration and demonstrate perseverance in even the most
troubling times.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this site offers interviews from more than 300 people who live
in mountain and highland regions throughout the world. The interviews are
lengthy and thorough and provide detailed insight into lives, lifestyles, and
livelihoods of each region's population.

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What's it about?

The Oral Testimony Programme of the Panos Institute
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in London has collected the oral testimonies of
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hundreds of local people from ten countries, from Peru to Poland.
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Through local interviewers who speak the language, these residents of some of
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the world's most mountainous regions are asked a wide range of questions and
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given a voice. The voices of the interviewees are not actually
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heard, instead their interviews are transcribed, translated, and posted on MOUNTAINVOICES.ORG, where visitors can easily search them by region or theme. There's also rich narrative about each
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region, and before reading even a word of an interview transcript, visitors
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learn a little about each interviewee, including their first name, age, gender,
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and occupation.

Is it any good?

Because the interviews are
sometimes lengthy and laborious to get through, only the most ambitious of teens
will spend much time at MountainVoices.org -- unless they can use it for school. But those who do will benefit from
hearing the least vocal and least powerful members of society as they are given
the opportunity to speak for themselves. With such a breadth of content, this
site could be as mountainous as the regions it covers, but it's surprisingly
easy to navigate. Users can quickly search through or jump to specific themes or
regions. And a visual chart makes it easy to locate a particular piece or place
of interest.

The interviews themselves
are loaded with details of the interviewee's life, family and history, but there
is also rich, descriptive narrative about the culture and customs of the people.
Users will also find detailed information and descriptions of each featured
region. It would take many hours to go through all of the content here, but for
those with limited time to spend surfing the site, there are clear and concise
summaries of the interviews.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the

  • value of hearing and learning from people who are disadvantaged by poverty,

  • gender, lack of education, and other inequalities. How does the Internet allow us

  • to hear those people who wouldn't otherwise have a voice? Why is it better to

  • hear from the people themselves through interviews than to hear an expert or

  • journalist write about them?

Website details

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