The workshop participants formed a circle in which they shared stories about their challenges and successes while working to fulfill their missions within The YP Foundation, a Global Fund for Children grantee partner. Some of them volunteer for The YP Foundation’s branches of filmmaking, child rights, education, health services, life skills development, HIV/AIDS education, and gender and sexuality issues. Under the leadership of Ishita Chaudhry, founder of The YP Foundation (formerly The Youth Parliament), the young students continue to expand the organization’s reach and positively impact their communities. Each had a unique story to share.
Ten students who work and volunteer for The YP Foundation participated in the three-day workshop conducted by the Center for Digital Storytelling, a nonprofit training organization that teaches individuals how to use digital media to share their life stories. The workshop was supported by The Global Fund for Children under a MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Grant focused on capturing and sharing the voices of GFC’s grantee partners and on training youth to document and disseminate the best practices used by these partners to help vulnerable children.
Faith Gonsalves, the project head of The YP Foundation's branch supporting street children through music, said, “The years I have volunteered and worked with The YP Foundation have been a struggle but a satisfying one. I have understood change within myself as a twofold process, [the first stage] whereby I have grown to let go of certain ideas and generalizations, the second by which I learned that I have the ability to effect change. The arts have always been important to me because they allow us a unique form of self-expression, and I particularly love music and musical metaphors as a symbol of the change we are trying to effect on a larger scale in the world.”
By the end of the workshop, each student had completed a three-minute digital story that showcased his or her work with The YP Foundation. During the screening of the digital stories on the final day, the students demonstrated great support for one another’s work, cheering and applauding after each story was shown. Never before had the staff and volunteers of The YP Foundation had the opportunity to tell stories of their work in such a manner. Now that they have, they will continue to make innovative digital stories that inspire others to understand their experiences and support their work. It’s clear to see how new digital technologies are shaping the way young people interact and share their stories with the world.
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Monica Grover is Digital Media Projects Manager for Global Fund for Children