Sixty-second videos give fresh meaning to teen realities
International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB)
Digital story-telling can be used to empower vulnerable children and inspire change
KUALA LUMPUR, 25 February 2009 – Ever wondered if sixty seconds is enough time to tell a story that is poignant, funny, or inspiring?
Well, twenty teens, many from vulnerable and marginalised communities across Malaysia have done just that at theoneminutesJr workshop held in Malacca recently. By using digital media to convey their stories to peers and elders, the diverse group of teens have given new meaning to their daily realities through sixty-second videos that aim to stimulate social change.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative to Malaysia and Special Representative to Brunei, Mr Youssouf Oomar, digital media such as video provide children and young people with a creative and accessible platform to share their experiences, using their own ‘words’.
“We must make every effort to hear from children, including those who are vulnerable and marginalised. When children become the messengers of their own problems and proposed solutions, it can create awareness in their communities and influence decision-making,” said Mr. Youssouf. “This will lead to more child-friendly communities where there is a healthy respect for children’s rights and opinions.”
Hosted by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, with support from the Melaka State Education Department, the five-day workshop empowered teens aged 13 to 18 to produce personal stories about their dreams, lives and aspirations. Workshop participants included children from the ‘Orang Asli’ community, ethnic minorities from Sabah and Sarawak, children living with disabilities as well as children living in the shadow of HIV and AIDS.
Digital storytelling, UNICEF believes, captures children’s imagination unlike traditional media, as it engages students in the language of their generation. Although most of the teens have had no film-making experience prior to the Workshop, they embraced the program with a keen sense of wonder and possibility.An international team of professional video artists comprising of Evelien Martine Krijl and Maria Olivia Glebbek, led by Karen Cirillo from UNICEF’s headquarters in New York taught the teens the basics of video making and production. Participants wrote the scripts, and also directed, filmed and edited their own videos during the Workshop, held in Malaysia for the first time.
“The Workshop recognises the capacities of young people to create something of value, not just for themselves, but also for their community,” said Ms. Cirillo who is UNICEF’s Executive Producer for Children’s Broadcasting Initiatives. “For some teens too shy too talk, the Workshop and their one-minute videos have also liberated them to explore and proactively share their point of view with others.”
The teens who hail from different backgrounds and parts of the country generated a unique mix of videos demonstrating the creative richness of their young generation. The Media Prima Group 8TV channel will broadcast the 60-second videos over Saturday, 28 February and Sunday 1 March to commemorate International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) in Malaysia. A selection of the works will also be screened at the Dubai International Film Festival in December 2009, helping to amplify teen voices and their messages.
Also participating in this year's ICDB is Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) who has produced an exciting array of programs for five of its radio channels, namely Klassik, Traxx.fm., Aifm, Minnal.fm and Asyik.fm. Programs will include children's forums, call-ins, dramas and documentaries encouraging Malaysian's to Tune in to Kids!
“Under article 12, 13 and 17 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), children have a right to use media platforms that resonate with them to share, discover and receive information that contributes to their development. We uphold these CRC articles and hope this initiative in Malaysia will generate new ideas and thinking around quality education that explores and vindicates children’s capabilities, talents and interests,” Mr. Youssouf highlighted.
“Children gain in confidence when they are allowed to be a part of a process where they can exchange ideas, make decisions, take action and see the results of their efforts,” he added. “This often encourages them to engage in other processes in society, and apply some of the teamwork and problem-solving skills they have acquired to reach their goals and strengthen their communities.”
NOTE TO EDITORS & BROADCASTERS:
Photographs for media use
For more information:Indra Kumari Nadchatram
(603) 2095 9157 • (+6) 013 366 3452
Shiao Eek, Tee
theoneminutesjr Workshop, Malaysia