The sustainability of its multimedia studios has been an important consideration for Internews since the outset of its Future Leaders project in Egypt, training youth to use media for social change.
With three local partners – Hawaa Al-Mostaqbal Association, Pioneers of Cultural Centers Association and Future Association for Development, Consumer Protection, and the Environment – Internews is in the process of finalizing an agreement that will ensure that local youth have access to the two fully equipped production studios in Giza and Aswan beyond the lifetime of the project.
The partner NGOs have agreed to pay for the upkeep of the studios which includes maintaining the equipment, paying for utility bills and other operational costs.
“The Future Leaders studios provide media arts for thousands of young people living in underserved communities,” said Mowafaq Abouelnil, director of Pioneers of Cultural Centers Association. “Our mission is to provide youth with the knowledge, tools, and relationships they need to create powerful, thought-provoking media on local issues that concern them, and to use their media as a catalyst for dialogue and social change.”
He added that the facilities will “strengthen local media by encouraging youth to participate in social work.” There will also be collaboration with local TV stations to use the studios, in exchange for providing media expertise to young aspiring journalists and media representatives.
“The Future Leaders studio is not just a studio,” said Ashraf Mohamed, social specialist at El Orouba middle-school in Aswan. “It is a media arts center that teaches documentary video production to youth, school students and even teachers. Its workshops have helped 2,000 middle-school students in Aswan to be media pioneers able to research, interview, write scripts and produce in-depth documentaries. Everybody in the NGO is dedicated to the creative and community-based use of video and multi-media as a means to develop the research and public speaking and work preparation skills for upper Egypt voiceless youth.”
For the Aswan National Day on January 15, Pioneers of Cultural Centers Association, in cooperation with the Aswan governorate, produced a documentary film for the annual celebration. The Aswan governor General Moustafa Youssry attended the celebration held in the Aswan cultural palace with Future Leaders students and commended the efforts paid to establish such a studio in upper Egypt.
Internews’ Future Leaders project in Egypt is funded by the US Agency for International Development.