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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Created as part of the Future Voices International Programme Nepal.
Production & Direction: Sadiq Miah.
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.
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.
The role of business in global governance; that was the topic we were addressing at the Annual World Assembly.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Classes today for the student ambassadors of Future Voices International were different as we have arranged a visit to MALI, Museo de Arte de Lima to view the Peruvian film ‘Paraiso’ shot on the outskirts of Lima in a very similar community as Pachacutec. Not only did the students get the opportunity to watch this great piece of cinema but also the opportunity to have a Q&A session with the director ‘Hector Galvez’ himself.
All the students of Future Voices International were extremely excited by this opportunity and made the most of the experience by asking many question and for tips in order to help them with their own short social films they are in the process of creating. For many of the students this was there first time visiting a gallery or cinema, Pachacutec is located on the outskirts of Lima over 2hrs away from centre, and many of the participant’s families don’t have the financial ability or time to afford similar visits.
Future Voices Intl is extremely happy with the impact this excursion has had on the individuals, both creatively and socially. The trip has bought all the participants closer together and has focused their creative thinking which will hopefully help the participants create stunning works of cinema.
If you would like to read more about the project excursion please follow this link to a project blog created by one of our students. (Currently only in Spanish)
We would like to thank Susy Sano Auditorio Curator from MALI for putting this fantastic season of Cine Peruano together & for capturing the above image. www.mali.pe
Future Voices International’s programme has began in the sector A3 community in Pachacutec, enabling young people living in segregated communities the chance to share their stories with the world.
We ran the registration and application process last week to select appropriate participants for the Future Voices International ambassador programme. We received an unprecedented number of applications from young people wanting to take part in the programme of workshops. After much hard work and advice from local youth workers we selected the 20 student ambassadors of the programme.
Our students vary in experience with communication media and have a wide age range from 10 yrs to 20 yrs old. We choose half the participants from the partner youth centre were working with and the other half from the wider community to help improve social cohesion and allow the participants to form new friendships.
The initial few days of workshops we ran involved many interaction exercises allowing the participants to get to know each other, and learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. All the participants are very excited by this opportunity to be able to express themselves without creative limitations.
We have many exciting activities planned for the next few weeks and we will be updating the site accordingly. We are introducing the participants to online blogging and online journalism and soon these updates will be coming directly from the participants themselves.
When Future Voices International was first invited to run a new media and digital communication workshop in a rural village deep in a Peruvian farming community, I knew it was going to be a tough challenge. Little did I know how remote this village was and the near to no existence of accessible technology here in the community.
Picture: Joana Rosemary, Diego Relaiza, Sujey Montalean, Sadiq Miah (Programme Director), Jhon Silves, Jemman Alexis & Roysen Agrido
I knew from the beginning that the project will need to be re-worked and adapted to suit such a situation where the sustainability of the project will be affected due to the lack of internet and access to computers. The main part of the project is young people with stories they wish to share with the world, something this village defiantly had by the bucket load. Future Voices Internationals mission is to share these with the world and get the stories of this community heard by as many people as possible.
The main focus the young participants of the project wanted to explore during out workshop sessions was on how farming life differs from any other. The majority of the kids know what city life is like as they spend the academic part of the year in cities across Peru but always return back here in the vacation periods to help family on the fields. After many discussion and planning session the young participants came up with the title: Mi Vida en Chacra (My life on the farm)
We decided to use 12 year old Jhon Silves Anderson as the main leading role, and through his character the film took place. The project took place at various times through the 12 days to represent all parts of the day to get an accurate representation of the life for a young person living on a Peruvian farm. project was created by six young individuals living in the local farming community, pictured in the first image of this post.
Another ultra short film called ‘Ardilla’ was shot by 13 year old Jemman Alexis Montalean Diaz, the short film was shot during a hunting squirrels session with the family. The film defiantly push’s boundary’s and clearly highlights the differences between life in here in the country and the city.
The project was successful and a press release has been sent to the local Lambeyeque newspapers to help spread the hard work the young people have invested into their masterpieces. The training provided was tailored to the age group of participants and the access to communication media. The finished project work will be featured during the first ever film festival taking place in Pachacutec on Friday 18th February 2011. If unfortunately you are unable to attend in person, then you can still take part in this film festival as all films will be available to view in our online catalogue.
The project start date in Pachacutec has been delayed slightly due to the Ashaninka tribe research trip, which will lead to the project taking place in the community 1hr north of Satipo a jungle town in the heart of the Peruvian Selva region.
In addition to this the project has been invited to the north of the country to work with rural young people who have had no access to communication media in the past. The village the project has been invited to is called Pacora, Lambeyeque near the coastal Peruvian town Chiclayo 13hr away from Lima, that 800km!
The chance to give these young people the opportunity to express themselves through creative media has taken priory for the next few weeks of Future Voices International’s agenda. It has meant that the start date for the Pachacutec project has had to be pushed back a little, but by no means will this affect the quality of the programme or jeopardise any part of the project in anyway.
Dates to keep an eye out for:
Pacora Rural Village Project – 5/01/11 till 16/01/11
Pachacutec Urban Shantytown Project – 20/01/11 till 20/02/11
Ashaninka Tribe Satipo Project – 21/02/11 till 26/02/11
Rincon del Valle Colombia Project – March (exact dates TBC)
More information on these project dates will be made available in due course.
Future Voices International is currently in the project area of Pachacutec, Lima, Peru. Getting prepared for the grand launch of the project in the first week of January 2011 with all the project partners and supporters.
It’s currently a very exciting time here with the buzz about the project spreading throughout the community. There has been an unprecedented amount of interest in the project from the community that a new system of participant selection has had to be enforced. Originally the plan was to work with the participants of the local youth centre Casa Juvenile Pachacutec, but as the wider community has expressed an interest in the project I will open the project to 50% CJP attendees and 50% local residents.
Future Voices International has recently completed a preliminary research trip deep into the Peruvian jungle to see the viability of launching a short course version of the programme with the Ashaninka tribal community.
After 15hrs of travelling across winding roads and high altitudes of the Peruvian Andes we made ourselves into the central jungle area of Junin. We headed to a small town called Satipo which was the only connection to the outside world as it was only here you could get mobile signal and access to modern amenities. After a short pit stop we headed south via three wheeled mototaxi’s across the bumpy spine shaking dirt paths to a small Ashaninka community located 45 minutes away.
I am in a fortunate position to be able to gain such access to the Ashaninka community, as the community is part of a study a partner is doing to see if they can help the community in getting a fairer deal for their coffee they produce. Without this relationship already in place gaining the trust and support of the community would have be a very difficult and long process. Being in the fortunate position I was able to interact freely with the community and intern was actually invited to run a version of my project here with the young people in the community by the elders of the community.
I ran a few pilot workshops in the community to sense the viability of the project with the community and can confirm I was pleased with the results and the possibility for this partnership with the Ashaninka community is looking very promising.
Future Voices International currently needs to complete the project in the intended area of the urban settlement around Lima, before committing to running the project here in this community, but is planning a to run the project in the Ashaninka community at some point during February 2011.
So watch this space!
The birth of Future Voices International came about with the amalgamation of incredible experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have over the last year. Leaning and working in the social and voluntary sector has been truly eye opening and has taught me a many life lessons.
One year ago to date is when this incredible journey began with me leaving my professional background in the materialistic world of Industrial Design to volunteer in a developing country.
My life was put into perspective, as I witnessed the inequalities faced by young people living in a shantytown in Peru, growing up in a society where they feel segregated and cut off from the world. The experience was truly life changing, since returning from my volunteering trip I made the decision that I wanted to work in the field of development. The way I perceive life has change, success isn’t measured my wealth but by happiness.
I wanted to live my life with the guidance of Ghandi’s quote:
“Be the change you wish to see in the world”
I have changed my life back in the UK, early this year I took the opportunity working on a pilot ‘Digital Village’ project with Trident social housing association, which caters for vulnerable residents such as teenage single mothers, those with learning difficulties/mental disorders and victims recovering from drug abuse. At the Trident Digital Village I have been using social media to increase social cohesion and participation.
This work is very rewarding however I feel I am not fully utilising my professional skill set. Its time I developed and progressed in creating international change.
The birth of ‘Future Voices International’ has become the next step in my life!