It isn’t difficult to find a story about a young refugee. In videos, articles and pictures that flood television and websites, voices around the world try to share a small glimpse into the lives of millions of Syrians displaced from their homes.
The story of lives disrupted married to the story of strength and hope, and the fight to move forward. It’s an important story that the world needs to hear—but whose voice should tell it?
In Zaatari camp in Jordan, a group of young refugees—girls and boys—are getting a chance to tell their stories, using their own voice. Questscope is hosting a special communications initiative known as Me/We. The Me/We workshops empower refugee youth by giving them the tools they need to develop and express their thoughts, ideas and emotions, and opens up a path to share their stories with creativity and confidence. Through the project, the participants gain critical skills in communications and message delivery.
The workshops are coordinated and led by Mohsin Mohi Ud Din, founder of the Me/We initiative. Drawing from his creative experience in filmmaking and music, Mohsin feeds creative expression and builds confidence by giving ownership of the projects and the stories to the youth.
“There are walls around Zaatari. But in the mind and the heart, we must not have walls. Instead we have keys to solutions, lessons and new ideas,” said Mohsin. “Through the communications workshops, the youth are starting to break down any barriers to expression, creativity and message delivery."
The Me/We workshops teach participants how to develop skills in message delivery and impactful communications using video and camera equipment to capture the concepts that they develop themselves. Unique activities promote creative expression, confidence building, and encourage the youth to work as a team—supporting each other and cooperating to achieve the goals that they set.
Last week, participants learned to read and play music. With simple rhythmic beats on a drum, they learned how to tell a story through sound, while they developed confidence and learned about teamwork and patience.
The workshops mimic Questscope’s approach to education: the youth guide topic development and discussion. In turn, they become active participants in their own development, and learn that their voices matter—that they matter.
Communications workshops in Zaatari are held four days per week, and will continue for one month. Follow along with us, and listen to the stories that are shared.
Mohsin Mohi Ud Din currently works in strategic communications for the United Nations in New York and is a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellow (UNAOC) and Fulbright Scholar. His project is funded by the German government and supported by the UNAOC and UNFPA. Learn more about his work with Questscope in Zaatari on his blog.
Questscope's mentoring programs in Zaatari are funded by the EU, and coordinated by UNESCO.