I conducted a one day workshop for Save The Children Workshop at the Coventry Refugee Centre young people who were refugees from Afghanistan and locals. The project was put together by the Birmingham Save The Children entitled Positive Press which aims to enable young people across three local refugee and non-refugee communities to learn about one another and work together using different media to challenge discrimination and reduce community tension.
Outcomes that relate to media work include:
Young people are empowered to speak out about issues that affect them and develop skills that enable them to engage with a variety of audiences using different types of media
Increased number of positive media stories about young people and refugees and a reduction in the number of negative or misleading stories in local and regional media
Local and regional media reporting adheres to better standards that protect and respect the rights of young people and refugees
Enabling children and young people to speak to the media is a key part of Save the Children’s objective of giving children and young people a voice on issues that affect them.
The workshop was highly successful where ten young people attended, four originally from Coventry and four escaping war from Afghanistan. Although the workshop was on a Sunday, the young people were enthusiastic and waiting to discuss and learn about film and cinema. Discussions using examples of directors they liked ranged from Tarantino to the actor Salman Khan. The young refugee’s from Afghanistan wanted to tell their stories and when the workshop was split into smaller groups to write stories, the refugee stories were both moving and heartbreaking.
Towards the end of the day, the young people clearly recognised the power of media and each were keen to follow it through towards a career or a way of life.