MULTIMEDIA FOR LIVELIHOODS
Community Aid Network
Country/Town: România, Săcele (Brașov County)
Topic: Multimedia

The Multimedia

Empowerment

Why?

Young people, very often from disadvantaged communities, roma and non-roma, need a voice. A means of expressing themselves and a shorter path to reaching people like them in a constantly shifting world. Săcele is a small town in România and its specific trait is multiculturalism. In its historical seven villages live today not only Romanians, but also Hungarians, Roma and Saxons communities. Poverty and prejudices often go together, so Community Aid Network (CAN) organization decided to approach them and to do something to build up young people communities.

The aim

Multimedia for Livelihoods” provides appropriate resources and communication tools for Roma and non-Roma youth who will be empowered through hands-on multimedia training to improve their skills and become both leaders to their peers and positive role models for the entire community. During 3 years, the project developed trainings of computer science, photography, Blogging, Filming, Script-Writing, Communication, Entrepreneurship. Young people aged 14-16 took part in workshops and summer camps, they made friends and resolved conflicts, they discovered skills and news passions, they prepared for a future job.

Interview

”We aimed for the members of the intercultural communities of Săcele (Roma, Hungarians, Romanians) to learn more about each other, to work together, thus being more tolerant and open towards the need of cooperation. That is why we encourage the cultural differences to be seen and used as potential resources, as positive aspects of ethnic diversity. In time, this project raised a voice through which the youth communicated and still does, a strong message of acceptance, equality and social integration, thus shortening the distance between the finishing of school and finding a decent job on the Romanian labour market”

Ruxandra Oprică, Project Manager

Project

Timeline

“Multimedia for Livelihoods” project started in Săcele, with the aim of bringing youngsters from different ethnic and cultural communities together for learning how to use a computer, a photo camera as well as how video works (Multimedia training sessions such as Windows, Office, Web, Foto, Video, Blog, English, Jobs). Afterwards, we included group meetings (teambuilding games, debates, presentations), social and educational workshops, outdoor activities and trips.

“Multimedia for Livelihoods” was awarded third place in the Youth Projects section of Romanian Civil Society

One of the most successful and impactful events in the local community, bringing together in one night high school directors, teachers and local authorities, showing the potential that youngsters can have and the resources they can bring in a town, regardless of being Roma, Romanian or Hungarian.

Setting up volunteering departments and launching new initiatives:

  • “From Săcele, with love” (“Din Săcele, cu drag”), a public campaign about the people, places, actions and values that bring a great potential to the evolution of Săcele
  • Photo studio, an internship module for five alumni who study in-depth photography
  • Multimedia Summer Camp
  • Proactive for Gârcini, a community civic action group in the local Roma neighborhood

Important people

and resources

Alina Șerban ERSTE Foundation Roma Partnership Coordinator

Iulian Dudiță from KROGAN INVENTIV

For offering consulting services for IT sessions, creates the website and other visual materials

Costina Mihăescu and Daniel Hristea from FAST Charity Romania

Providing the adequate space for our programme activities, ensuring the working space for the multimedia training, the IT Room from the Youth Centre , the access to 14 computers and a video projector.

Local highschool teachers and directors.

Getting involved in students selection and their progress monitorization.

Achievements

“Multimedia for Livelihoods” had an immediate impact on the personal development of the youth, multimedia being a method that empowers them to express their opinions, to present their ideas, to develop their self-esteem, to make friends, and most important – to become truly integrated in this digital era.

– Ruxandra Oprică, Project Manager

Moreover, our programs have been proven to be mostly effective in preventing school drop-out and equipping the participants with the motivation and trust for finishing their studies

Challenges

Maintaining together in the group the participants from different ethnicities.

The Hungarian and the Romanian were reluctant to work together with the Roma and thus, from various reasons they have stepped out of the project. The majority of participants are now Roma, or live close to the Roma community. Nevertheless, we continue to believe that only through integration and intercultural communication we can break stereotypes and encourage mutual respect and collaboration. Thus, every year our selection process was the same, meaning that we will recruit from the Hungarian high school also, as well as from the Romanian ones.

Mobilizing the participants to come on a weekly basis to the multimedia course, without skipping classes at all.

At their age they have other household chores, the girls have to take care of the little ones while the boys work in constructions, agriculture or carpentry. Therefore, it was a bit difficult to keep up with them, as they didn’t come regularly, constantly, 2 days per week as the project requires.
However, we came up everytime with new things, creative tasks and fun activities to attract them more, regardless of the peer / family/ community pressures. And, in the second project year we covered their transport costs to and from the centre where we organize the courses.

Lack of motivation and poor education.

Most young people had trouble writing correctly, expressing their thoughts coherently or thinking in a creative way. All these come from the poor education that the system has offered to them, from their lack of motivation and from the low-quality teaching they experienced in the school.

Extra

content available in local language

Photo Gallery from each year

Short movies and videos

Photo album “Our story”

Youtube channel

Impressions and thoughts from our participants

Multimedia for Livelihoods in 12 months