Update from refugee youth: Lighting a candle instead of cursing the dark

 

After three weeks of intense communications with the workshops with the Syrian refugee youth, I am happy to say that that the youth have started directed and filming their short stories. Above is a short highlight reel showing the some of the talents, smiles and hope being carried in the youth of Syria through the Me/We communications workshops.

I cannot stress how much growth and progress we have fought for in recent weeks. There is much more work ahead of us as we continue filming and crafting stories with positive messages and lessons, as conceptualized by the refugee youth. I anticipate the momentum will continue. Plans are in place to put on an exhibition of the refugees’ messages at the Young Eyes Gallery in Amman from 17-24 June. I am trying to secure permissions for the refugees to leave the camps and attend.

The youth have a deeper understanding about how important communciations is and they are realizing new avenues for self expression, critical  thinning, team work, confidence and hope. None of the workshops or stories are political or religious in nature. This project is not about sides. It is about realizing the collective humanity to which we all equally belong.

Skeptics may say this is just a cute project and no big deal. To them I paraphrase a Chinese proverb that says it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. We are empowering youth to light the candle for themselves, their communities and for our greater world.

Our world may be failing them, but they will not fail our world.

 

*Me/We has been funded by the German government and supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, and by the dedicated local staff and coordinators working in Zaatari refugee camp and Zarqa: Questscope and Family Guidance Awareness Center.

Zaatari workshops are hosted by the local NGO, Questscope—funded by the EU and UNESCO, OCHA. Support Questscope’s important and successful mentoring programs for refugee youth here: http://www.questscope.org. Logistical support provided by UNFPA.

Zarqa workshops are hosted by the Family Guidance Awareness Center, FGAC.

Volunteers and coordinators making Me/We a success: Manal Jbhour, Khaled Jbhour, Young Eyes Center (Khaled and Issa), Manahil and Abdur Rahman (FGAC), Nadeen and Ashraf (Questscope), Dareen (UNFPA).

Me/We workshops founded by Mohsin Mohi Ud Din (UNAOC Fellow and Fulbright Scholar alum).

Advertisements

One thought on “Update from refugee youth: Lighting a candle instead of cursing the dark

  1. You are helping these youth do exactly what they need to: communicate, because through communication we may help each other heal, help others understand us, and most importantly make sense of what has passed in order to move forward with an unconditionally positive outlook.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s