In the Month of October the Jesuit Youth Office in Zimbabwe through the collaboration with the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN) embarked on a media/journalism capacitation program under its Youth to Youth Advocacy Programme. The program titled ‘Through my own Lens’ is about young people owning and developing their own narratives whilst telling stories through their own perspectives.
The project was implemented through the following processes; the Jesuit Youth Office acquired new media equipment, trained personnel to use equipment for story telling purposes and the development of a documentary that speaks to the challenges young people are facing in the Integral Youth Network.
The project that is currently underway entailed the shooting of a documentary which began at the beginning of October and ended early November. The documentary highlighted the state of accommodation in institutions of higher learning (universities, polytechnic colleges, vocational and training centres etc) The project brought together participants from three teams who benefited from the equipment purchased by the funds donated through the grant from AJAN.
One of the team that participated was domiciled in Harare and their focus area covered tertiary institutions in Harare (University of Zimbabwe, Harare Institute of Technology, Catholic University of Zimbabwe, Women’s University in Africa, Harare Polytechnic College). The second team covered universities and colleges just out of Harare (Chinhoyi University of Technology, Bindura University of Science Education and Ezekiel Guti University) while the third team was focused on covering tertiary Institutions in Bulawayo.
The produced documentary is expected to be aired in January on the social media platforms run by the Jesuit Youth Office of Southern Africa. More documentaries are in development through the initiatives of young people whose creativity and dynamism animates our programmes.
At the start of the programme we had 3 people who were trained and they included; one Male and two Females. The project then expanded to have 3 teams with each team having 3 Trainees (two males and one female with the gender dynamic interchanging per group). The initial 3 trained had the task of orienting the other trainees on how to use the equipment and the basics of investigative and advocacy oriented journalism.
Toward the end of the training, 9 youths (5 males and 4 females) were trained on using the equipment and production of the documentary. After the documentary is released the project is expected to reach 1500 youth in our network and beyond.
The ongoing program being undertaken still seeks to reach more youth through organizing a webinar series that will focus on issues affecting young people especially young adults and students at tertiary level education. Issues related to Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Gender in the African context, Sexuality and professional development will be discussed in this project. The same trainees will be trained on producing a webinar series and the intended reach is expected to be between 300 to 800 viewers that will take place between the month of February and April 2023.
Through this current program the Jesuit Youth Office in Zimbabwe will incorporate the trained youth in the production of a documentary that will celebrate Women in the Creative Industry in the Month of March. The documentary will highlight Industry and the challenges women are facing based on gender discrimination. This will be inline with our thrust to mainstream gender in our work.
By, Communication Team
Integral Youth Development Office, Zimbabwe