Youth Tales: One frame, A Thousand and One Stories

Imagining a world where all young people are supported ad empowered to tell their stories and fulfil their potentials.

10 March 2022

Creating audio-visual content is one of the most effective ways in conveying our stories beyond cultures and languages. With the objective of bringing Turkish and Syrian youth together to share their own stories and experience, UNICEF conducted a series of “Youth Tales” workshops to train young people on planning, filming and editing their own short videos. UNICEF “Youth Tales” workshops are a good example of how young people can acquire the knowledge and skills to tell their stories and to have their voices heard in the society.


"This activity taught me a lot. I learn something new every day and I really enjoyed it" says Esma (16) as she was setting up her mobile phone and tripod. Esma, who lives in Istanbul adds: "I did not know much about Syria before the workshop. It is really very nice to learn about different cultures." Esma chose to make a documentary film on the rights of people with disabilities. "Even after these workshops, I will continue making more videos, more documentaries, conduct interviews and bring this dream to life in order to raise awareness among people about different issues," she elaborates.


Participating in “Youth Tales” workshops in Şanlıurfa, Ahmet Hasan (16) tells us about the documentary he made on water conservation and draught. Explaining that he would like to raise the awareness of people on conserving water, Ahmet Hasan says: "Normally, I am not talkative at school. However, thanks to these workshops, I was somewhat able to come out of my comfort zone. I even managed to interview people I don’t know." He adds, "this has been a good opportunity for the young people to express themselves."


Ula (16), originally from Syria, is another student who participated in the trainings in Şanlıurfa. "There are cultural similarities between Syrian and Turkish people, the cuisine for example is similar. I learned this at the training, and I really enjoyed it,” she says. Through her documentary titled "Ortak Kültür” (Common Culture), Ula explores the cultural similarities and differences between Syria and Turkey.


Nazlıcan (16), participated in the Youth Tales workshops in Konya. In her short documentary, he explores the different activities young people carried out at home during the COVID-19 pandemic . "Capturing a moment from a frame and expressing that feeling in the moment is very valuable for me," says Nazlıcan.


With generous support from the European Union, the trainings were implemented over six months in three provinces: İstanbul, Konya and Şanlıurfa. Although the workshops were originally planned to be face-to-face, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 44 young people were trained through online sessions. Nevertheless, conducting the training sessions online was able to create a bond among young participants, who were motivated to learn effective visual storytelling techniques. The participants were able to produce 25 short films, each on a topic of their choice.  The trainings covered a range of video-making techniques, including operating the cameras, conducting interviews, choosing frames and video editing.

“Youth Tales" workshops were organized as part of the Support for School Enrolment (SSE) Programme, which is implemented by UNICEF to provide the most vulnerable children and youth with increased access to educational opportunities. Implemented with generous support from the European Union and in partnership with the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (ASAM), the SSE Programme provides out-of-school refugee children with a broad range of services to eliminate barriers restricting their participation in education. SSE outreach teams identify 5- to 17-year-old children, assess their conditions and refer them to external services and to age-appropriate formal and non-formal education programmes.