Launch of One-minute: Refugees and Ugandan youth to be trained in multi-media story telling project

Launch of One-minute: Refugees and Ugandan youth to be trained in multi-media story telling project

Media 
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ARUA: Impact Unified, in partnership with Media Focus on Africa (MFA) Uganda has initiated a media training for youth in and around Imvepi refugee settlements, in the West Nile region of Uganda. Twenty youth from the refugee and local host communities will be trained from 8 th - 15th December. The training will be facilitated by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The project, called One-minute, isfunded by Creative-Force-Swedish Institute, a Swedish agency engaging other countries in information, culture, public life among others, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency working on behalf of the Swedish parliament and government to reduce poverty in the world. One minute is aimed at empowering youth with skills in film production, media and communication. The youth will undergo an eight-day training programme that will be followed by actual production, for them to put their skills to practice. The training will include, script writing, production, post-production and dissemination of short videos. Ten short narratives are to be produced by the trained youth and distributed through social media. 

“The project comes in response to the current refugee challenges in Uganda that have spun the need to provide opportunities for the production and distribution of narratives that put a human face behind the crisis and wars. These narratives will be short media messages produced by young refugees and distributed through social media to gain a wider audience” said Neil Bell, Chief Concept Officer from Impact Unified.

“It’s so important young refugees and Ugandans have an opportunity to exercise their voice and their ideas. Particularly as it relates to their dreams and their futures. Adolescents and youth (15 to 24 years of age) account for 33% of the refugee population in Uganda and remain a critically underserved and often misunderstood cohort. Be it through written word, drama, film and other visual representation, it’s important to equip young people with the tools in telling their own stories. This is their freedom of expression as enshrined in the Articles 19 of the Universal declaration of human rights as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” said Lucy Strickland, Senior Education Officer from UNHCR-Uganda.

“Media plays a central role in the development and functioning of modern day participatory democracy. The ability for the people to freely express themselves, share alternative views as well as have access to relevant information is essential to an effective and inclusive political process,” said Jan Ajwang, Programmes Manager from MFA.

Armed conflict and civil unrest in South Sudan has led to an influx of refugees in Uganda, the majority of whom live in refugee settlementsin West Nile. With 1.154 million refugees from more than five countries, Uganda is the largest refugee hosting country in Africa and among the top three globally. The country continues to receive more refugees and asylum seekers from East Africa and the Great Lakes region on almost daily basis. Uganda’s progressive refugee policy is unique and hailed globally – It allows refugees to enjoy the rights equal to nationals of the country. Host communitiesshow exemplary acceptance ofrefugees,sharing the already scarce resources and land. However, the existing infrastructure and public services are overstretched and facing development and service delivery challenges. Investment in refugee-hosting districts is urgently needed to promote economic and social development for the benefit of all.