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Tea Estate Workers – Marginalised Communities: Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) Collaborative Project.

Pilot research project looking into why marginalised native communities suffer within the Sylhet region. May 2015

Future Voices International in partnership with Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST). Lead Professor Dr Tulshi Kumar Das of development studies selected five MA level graduates from SUST to assist within this project and gain a invaluable insight into professional practices of pilot research.

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Social segregation of tea estate communities is a common practise faced here in the Sylhet region. This deprives the tea estate workers opportunities and traps them into a cycle of life they were often born into with little prospect to enter other fields of work or living settlements.

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Future Voices International – SUST

This affects not only the workers but also the families and children of the workers. These children are deprived an education in local mainstream schools due to their ‘belonging’ to the tea estates. This is coupled with the low level of awareness in the importance of education among the community as they feel it can’t help them escape this form of life.IMG_20150508_155011

This Unspoken World project attempts to look at methods we can break cultural norms in an attempt to improve social integration and ease the stigma faced by communities wishing to coincide together with the greater Sylhet community.

The project was an initial look into the issues faced by these communities and in the near future we wish to create a series of collaborative workshops between tea estate and wider Sylhet communities in an attempt to break down divides and improve social cohesion.

Coming soon you will be able to see a sample of what is to come and the stories that need sharing with a wider and global audience. This is a tiny part of a social documentary we wish to make on the subject and use it as a educational tool within the region.

Nepal Project: This Is Our Story – Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC)

This is our story: Laxmi, Biraj & Manju.


This short film was created in Kathmandu, Nepal. As part of the Future Voices International Media Litracy programme. This film was made by the young participants of ECDC, they used the medium of film to share their concepts, ideas and thoughts through with both the local and now the international community.

ECDC is dedicated to helping the children of imprisoned parents in Nepal, many of whom were living inside the jails alongside their mothers. This is no place for children and we are commited to giving them the shelter and education needed to break the cycle of crime and poverty. ECDC’s Butterfly home provides these children a safe and nurturing environment where they can spread their wings to discover a brighter future.

A short film by the Children of Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDC)
(www.ecdc.org.np)
Created as part of the Future Voices International Programme Nepal.
Kathmandu, Nepal
Production & Direction: Sadiq Miah.

The Global Changemakers Still Lives On! May 2014

So as many followers know one of our supporters the Global Changemakers was announced it would end last year. Over the course of the last 6 months the core team have managed with hard work and dedicate to bring it back again. There are going to be a number of changes and it will take time for it to develop but it is incredibly good news for like minded young people who wish to enter international development.

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It was a pleasure joining the team of global changemakers at the official comeback reception in London. There were many familiar faces and many new ones too. I am very excited for the team behind all this and we as a organisation are forever in its debt for helping us start-up and guide us.

So big welcome back and thank you.

CIVICUS World Assembly 2012 – Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The role of business in global governance; that was the topic we were addressing at the Annual World Assembly.

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Future Voices Intl was invited to speak on a global stage and share its unique approach to helping create economically self-sufficient communities with its vocational training programme.  We use and promote the use of creative expressive arts to give marginalised communities a voice and platform to share their social issues with both the local community and the world.

 

The process to get to a stage where communities are equipped with the skills to share their stories they have learnt marketable job skills enabling them to enter employment or higher education. In the time we have been operating our programmes we have had success stories with past participants of the programme moving on into industries related to the skills we cascaded to them.

We at Future Voices Intl work with communities and business to look for areas where there is a need for certain skills and we do our best to provide training to our participants in these areas, giving them the best chances possible. This close relationship between us and the local business allows us to promote the idea of apprenticeships allowing our students to gain real world experience and business to highlight potential employees.

 

We were able to share our methodologies and learn best practises from other organisations and plan steps to create better policy to work towards in the future. The experience was very insightful and we feel there is a lot to take forward from the World Assembly. Our director Sadiq Miah was additionally invited to speak at the closing ceremony addressing the attendees and live streams across the world which was a fortunate privilege.

 

For additional images and information please visit the official CIVICUS page.

United Nations Alliance of Civilisations & International Youth Day 2012

Our founding director Sadiq Miah recently attended the 3rd Annual United Nations Alliances of Civilisations summer event under invitation of President of the Portuguese Republic (1996-2006) Jorge Sampaio current acting High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

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The event organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations is in cooperation with other partners, such as the League of Arab States, the North-South Center of the Council of Europe, the Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI), the Gulbenkian Foundation, the Aga Khan Development Network as well as the Government of Brazil.

The 2012 event was hosted by the University of Coimbra and took place from 5 August to 13 August 2012. The last two days were spent in Braga (Portugal) at the invitation of “Braga 2012, European Youth Capital” to celebrate International Youth Day.

Under the theme “Bridging Hearts, Opening Minds and Doing Things Together”, the aim of this UNAOC programme was to bring together young organisations to enhance their knowledge and reinforce their ability to communicate across difference, interact with the “other”, and look at diversity as an asset for cross-fertilization. This project was a week-long program using a variety of educational approaches such as methodological and political inputs, small group discussions, peer-led workshops, visits to religious sites, etc. Themes such as multiple identities, globalization, the role of media in breaking or reinforcing stereotypes, human rights and diplomacy, etc. were explored thanks to the contribution of several regional and international experts who came to Aveiro to share their thoughts and have dynamic discussions with the participants.

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The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon made a point of sending a message to more than 145 youth who participated yesterday in Braga, the official ceremony to celebrate the International Youth Day. Ban Ki-moon congratulated Braga 2012: CEJ to celebrate the International Youth Day in conjunction with the participants of the Summer School of the Alliance of Civilizations, a UN initiative that brings together young people from around the world to learn and empower themselves to each other through of inter-cultural dialogue.

Future Voices International was able to gain fundamental new partners to assist with the implementation of new project ‘Unspoken World’ an innovative new approaches to using communication media to empower invisible communities facing social issues caused by the minerals exploitation industry.

For further details please visit www.unspokenworld.org & www.unaoc.org.

New Empowering Asia Project!

Empowering Asia is a campaign to promote the spirit of scholarship, leadership and citizenship amid high schoolers in the South Asia region and give them the tools, skills and necessary inspiration to be a part of the digital revolution and ultimately active agents of impactful change in their local communities.

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The campaign will provide inspirational empowerment sessions and capacity building trainings in ways that hone the student’s intellectual and leadership abilities, equip them with ‘change-making and communication media’ tools including helping them add their own voice in local issues, and as a final outcome, assist them devise their own sustainable community oriented action programs to put into practise their new ideas in their local communities. 


This campaign will directly engage and involve at least 2000 high school students in Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

The project is a collaboration between Future Voices International (www.futurevoicesinternational.org) & Goreto

 

Future Voices International at Google Zeitgeist 2011:

Founding Director Sadiq Miah was invited to attend and speak at Google Zeitgeist, one of the most high-powered gatherings of business leaders, thinkers and those that are considered to generally shape the global future.

Sadiq Miah | Future Voices International: Speaking at Google Zeitgeist 2011, Panel with Martha Lane Fox & Jon Snow.

We are very proud to have be part of this year’s Zeitgeist event as it is an exceptional opportunity to showcase the work of our organisation to the biggest names and companies in the online and technology world. Attendees this year will include Angela Ahrendts chief executive of Burberry, Maurice Levy chief executive and chairman of Publicis, Claudio Corbetta Managing Director of Dada.pro, the Chancellor George Osborne, Yuri Milner the founder of Russian tech-giant and Facebook investor DST, and Professor Stephen Hawking the director of research at the Centre of Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge. Joseph Stiglitz the American economist, Martha Lane Fox the founder of lastminute.com and the Government’s “digital champion”, and Simon Wolfson the chief executive of Next, were also be at the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire, where the event was being held amid tight security.

The Zeitgeist event has a series of talks taking place over the two days, and I was given the opportunity to be part of a panel, sharing my experiences with Future Voices International. The experience was exceptional and the response from the attendees about our project was very positive. Public speaking on such a scale in front of a packed audience with a net worth in excess of multiple billions of pounds is a rather daunting experience! The Google host’s were fantastic; they prepped us well, with specialist master classes taking place exclusively for the Youngminds. We had personalised inspirational sessions from people like, Jared Cohen, Geoffrey Canada and a variety of lead Google’rs.

The prospect for Future Voices International are endless, this opportunity hopefully will give us the exposure and to continue changing lives of people living in hardship and bringing their social issues to the forefront.

A Productive First Week! Ricon del Valle – Bogotá

Future Voices International has just successfully completed the first week of the programme in the Ricon del Valle community in Bogota, Colombia. The first week was an intensive one, filled with many activities and training workshops from creative writing right through to professional video editing. It’s always amazing seeing the smiles of the young participants faces during the workshops, seeing how much joy the participants get from learning new skills and having a large amount of responsibly with their individual projects.

We started the week with integration workshops, to get comfortable with the group and evaluate the strengths of the individuals. The initial two days the entire group of 20 participants worked together writing possible topics to explore further in the individual groups. We were very impressed with the range of topics discussed as possible themes for the short documentary films the participants are going to create.

As the concept of film production as an expressive form of communication was a very new idea for the young participants, we had a few sessions of film studies. In these sessions we evaluated other short films including some of the films created by the Peru Future Voices Intl participants. These sessions gave the group an idea of how they too could expose the issues and problems they face with the world.

Below you can view the first video created together with the young participants, the video is an introduction to the participants of the group we are working with. Creating this video was part of the Future Voices Intl media literacy programme as the stages of creating the video are the same as when the individual groups capture their films. The participants were directly involved with all stages of the production of this video from the initial storyboarding through to editing.

This week on a whole has been very productive, with the students of the programme learning a great deal about creative expression and film production. Some groups have even finished writing their short documentaries and started filming. The student team leaders have also created blogs where you can follow their work and keep updated with their lives.

Frankie’s Blog – Lina’s Blog – Sandra’s Blog – Ana’s Blog

We are looking forward to the final week to see the students ideas come to life through film.

 

Future Voices International Arrives in Bogota, Colombia!

We have been given the opportunity to work in the Rincon Del Valle, Colombia in partnership with Hope Worldwide Colombia & Armario de Suenos. This experience is a invaluable opportunity for young Colombians to get their voices and social issues seen and heard by a global audience.

(The above image was taken on the famous landmark in the community the rock of love)

We have a series of set workshops we are running with the participants of the local youth centre in the Rincon Del Valle. The programme will last 2 weeks and finish with a public screening of the participants work to the local community.

Having just arrived in the country we have been very busy and have already started implementing the workshops with the young participants. The Future Voices International programme has been adapted to suit the participants we are working with. The project differs from the previous project in Peru as we are working with a younger age range here in Colombia.

By the end of the programme here in Bogota we are hoping to create 4 short documentary films, each written and filmed by the young participants themselves.

Keep checking back regularly for updates on the Colombian Project.

more images of the first day can be seen here.

Expression Begins with Creativity

Phase two of the programme has been in implementations this week; week two of the programme here in Pachacutec brings a whole new aspect of the project to the young participants. Phase two of the programme consisted of various formal and informal training workshops, in both creative and technical elements of media communication.

We started this week with various critic workshops, analysing short films and various visual media. These workshops help the participants learn how to dissect communication media, aiding them in the creative elements of the project that also began this week.

Creative writing and idea storming sessions became the norm, lasting many hours and on some days finishing very late in the nights. These sessions were created to help the participants express what media they wished to create and help Future Voices Intl assess the participants in order to form the groups the young people will be working in.

The programme is fairly intensive and also involves additional work that the participants are require to complete in their own time, we have been very impressed with the standard of work the young people are producing and the level of commitment and work ethic the participants are showing.

The final phase of the weeks programme was for the students to create there storyboards for the films the groups are planning to capture in the following week. This part of the project has been a very creative and enjoyable experience; this was the first time the young people started seeing their ideas come to life in visual forms, adding to the excitement the participants are already feeling.

We start filming on locations next week and begin the process of turning ideas into reality, a very exciting time for both the participants and Future Voices Intl.