Name of organization:
Description of Organization:
YaLa believes in the power of education to empower young Palestinians and Middle Easterners to build a better, more peaceful future for themselves and for the region. YaLa works since 2011 to develop on- and off-line educational projects in the areas of citizen journalism, community organizing, youth empowerment, dialogue and peacebuilding. YaLa believes that citizen journalism is a powerful tool to provide a counter voice to the traditional media that often inflames conflict and tensions. Citizen journalism can be used to create a space for individuals to promote nuanced perspectives that underpin the processes of understanding, peace and reconciliation.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is one of the regions of the world that are the most heavily affected by conflict and polarization. The “battle for hearts and minds” is seen to be increasingly taking place online. Indeed, according to ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2014, 3 in 5 youth across the Arab world obtain their news from online sources and 39% believe social media to be the most trusted sources of news. Similar rates exist in Israel. What is said – and how – in traditional, new and alternative sources of media is thus increasingly critical.
Proposed Project and Expected Results:
Within this context, YaLa proposed a project that would harness new media activism as an unprecedented opportunity for influencing the younger generation and the wider public in MENA in favor of greater understanding, coexistence and peace. Through citizen journalism training and practice, the project seeks to enable Arab and Israeli youth to engage new media more effectively to promote positive messages of understanding and peace, and to develop acquaintance, empathy and trust via online and face-to-face learning and collaboration opportunities. Ultimately, the youth will be motivated to develop and share – with each other and the world – original and fresh citizen journalism pieces on their identity, religion, traditions, daily life, aspirations and other issues of importance to them as a way to increase mutual understanding and cooperation and reduce conflict and polarization. By the end of the project, YaLa expects to:
- Conduct a 4-month online training program in Citizen Journalism for Coexistence for 55 Palestinian, Israeli and MENA youth, meeting on a bi-weekly basis;
- Hold two face-to-face workshops on storytelling and videomaking for 20 Palestinian and 20 Israeli youth participants;
- Produce a video of the storytelling and videomaking workshops to offer as an online learning resource for MENA participants and other youth;
- Post and disseminate online and in mainstream and non-mainstream media some of the journalism pieces produced by the participants in order to advocate for and foster a more inclusive and diverse practice of media production and consumption.
Project coordinator: Mr. Hamze Awawde
Contact information: email@example.com