Three New Projects Empowering Youth in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya & Thailand

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Free Tech Institute Burundi
Dorotea Zwolinski
April 4, 2023

There are approximately 1.2 billion 15-24-year-olds worldwide and around one billion reside in developing countries.  Young people account for a substantial percentage of the world's population, making youth participation vital for solving existing developmental challenges and influencing social change.  Youth engagement is essential for creating a more sustainable future as it reduces socioeconomic inequalities, prevents political and social instability and increases community empowerment.  

Docs 4 Youth

In partnership with Civil Connections in Denmark, Network for Active Citizens in Uganda, and InspiNest in Ghana we will soon launch Docs 4 Youth - a new initiative that will bring THE WHY´s documentary films to students in Ghana and Uganda. According to the World Justice Project, Uganda and Ghana have experienced a decrease in their overall Fundamental Rights scores, since 2017.  Political violence, arbitrary arrests and detentions, women’s rights violations and the suppression of freedom of expression still persist.  To combat this decline, THE WHY seeks to increase engagement and knowledge on topics related to human rights by carrying out short courses which will include documentary screenings and workshops on relevant human rights topics.  

The initiative will focus on creating four human rights courses where four of THE WHY’s documentaries will be screened.  We aim to provide local partners with documentary and human rights expertise as well as contribute to long-term sustainable and inclusive development.  

This project aims to strengthen civil society organizations, by providing local partners with ways of using documentary films as educational tools to increase knowledge and engagement on pervasive human rights issues.  Additionally, we aim to provide students with the necessary tools to engage with human rights issues beyond the duration of the courses through local networks and grassroots initiatives.  This partnership will be able to act as a blueprint for similar projects in the future, with the aim of reaching even more communities and regions.  

International Women’s Day

In honour of International Women’s Day, Alliance Française Kenya recently screened “Sisters in Law”, a powerful documentary portraying women uniting to fight against gender-based violence in Cameroon, and “Maid in Hell, which depicts the frightening reality of modern-day slavery experienced by domestic workers travelling to the Middle East.  Screenings and discussions were held to celebrate women and their achievements and to bring attention to pertinent issues affecting women globally. The films sparked important discussions on the current human rights abuses experienced by women worldwide among the students, diplomats, civil society organizations working in the field of human rights and activists who were in attendance.  The Head of Cultural Affairs, Harsita Waters noted,

“Maid in Hell provided a sombre entry to open discussions on the plight and rights of Kenyan female domestic workers travelling to the Middle East.” 

In 2022 alone around 80,000 women travelled from Kenya to the Middle East to work as maids. However, many remain unaware of the dangers domestic workers may endure, making such screenings essential for raising awareness and inspiring progressive change.  

Why Plastic

In spite of recent initiatives introduced by the Thai government to ban several types of single-use plastic by 2030 and to ban the importation of various types of waste, Thailand, along with many Southeast Asian countries, continue to be the dumping ground for the majority of the world’s trash.  

Recently, PakDone in Thailand has screened “The Recycling Myth” as part of their initiative which aims to connect people closer to nature through various sustainable waste management programs.  The screening was held at the Thailand United States Alumni Association (TUSAA) National Conference, which brought people from various backgrounds in education and policymaking together.  Additionally, Greenpeace Thailand and Greenpeace Israel will also be screening “The Recycling Myth” as part of their ongoing activism against plastic pollution and environmental degradation.  

We have many more exciting partnerships with numerous international and local organizations in the works with the aim of continuing to promote human rights through inclusive development.  

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