01 April 2021 – In the context of its Youth Crime Prevention through Sport initiative under the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, UNODC continues to support and engage Palestinian youth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on the Line Up Live Up sport-based curriculum, which was piloted for the first time in Palestine in 2018, the Office continues engaging young people through the development of awareness-raising material using a participatory video approach. A selected group of young teachers, Line Up Live Up trainers, and mass communication students received 20 virtual sessions of training on developing their own audio-visual material, along with messaging on violence, crime and drug use and on the role of sport in building youth and community resilience. The training sessions covered, among others, the use of cameras and recording devices, interview techniques, script writing, and different types filmmaking and editing approaches.
Implemented in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Education (MoE), the Higher Council for Youth and Sports (HCYS), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and conducted with the support of the civil society organisation Middle East Non-Violence and Democracy (MEND), the initiative aims to strengthen the resilience of young people towards the increased vulnerabilities and risk factors faced during the pandemic and to support their meaningful engagement.
The participatory video methodology is a group-based activity that develops participants’ self-expression abilities by involving them in using video equipment creatively and producing their own multimedia pieces. The ultimate goal is for young people to gain confidence working together, and develop their capacities and potential to become engaged in the decisions and policies that affect them. It leverages modern technology to effectively build self-awareness and agency of young participants, bridge divides, and amplify messages in ways that can reach wider audiences.
Azza Zahd, a sports education instructor, commented on her experience of using the participatory video approach, highlighting her positive experience. “At the start I wasn’t convinced about the idea of learning to use the camera in online trainings, and I decided to give it a shot and try. With the first time, I discovered the joy of being in front of the camera and providing a sports class (…) it made it feel like it’s no longer theoretical but practical (…) breaking the possible barriers of providing classes from a distance.”
Young participants were responsible for selecting the themes of their own videos and deciding on the filming approach to address them. They took on the roles of programme hosts, guests to be interviewed, producers, camera persons, directors, and much more. As a result of this group training, participants developed 11 films which addressed the role of sport in their lives, communities and professional work.
The films showcase the specific realities of Palestinian youth and provide a vehicle for them to communicate their own views and experiences on the challenges, vulnerabilities, and root causes for crime, violence and other risky behaviours, as well as on how sport-based programmes can help to address them. The films take the viewer from one human story to another, offering a diverse range of insights: one story, for instance, visually highlights how sport can bring a change for children living in refugee camps; another, on the influence of ballet on enhancing girls’ life skills and self-confidence; and another still on sport initiatives being run by volunteers to engage young people in refugee camps and rural areas, keeping them away from violence and crime through sports.
An interagency committee was set up to select and award the three videos that best conveyed the impact of sport in their lives. These were:
To build on these videos developed by the youth, UNODC kicked off a national awareness-raising campaign in Ramallah this week, bringing together the various partners through a hybrid-format event. Participants discussed key topics, showed the films, and organized an award ceremony for the young filmmakers. Addressing those gathered online and in person, Lucy Nusseibeh, MEND’s Chair, noted: “MEND is proud and happy to have cooperated with UNODC on this ground-breaking and important project. The films show the importance of sport as a way to engage youth and reduce crime and violence.” This sentiment was echoed by Mirna Bouhabib, UNODC’s Deputy Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, who called for the continued support and empowerment of youth – a group she noted are both “our present and our future, and an instrument of change.” Speaking on behalf of the trainees at the event, Raghda Taweir, one of the young filmmakers, expressed their readiness to support the forthcoming awareness raising activities and stressed the need to engage more positive champions among Palestinian youth.
The awareness-raising campaign is set to include a series of discussions and sport-based activities in schools and local communities. The filmmakers, acting as youth ambassadors, will reach out to more young people and facilitate discussions on challenges faced by young Palestinians and possible solutions to promote youth engagement, social inclusion, tolerance and respect. The 11 videos will also be broadcast across the Palestinian territories on national sport television and be promoted through social media.
This awareness-raising builds on UNODC’s work in Palestine and presents a step towards ensuring the active participation of youth in the efforts of the Doha Programme amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
For more information:
Full list of videos
UNODC Youth Crime Prevention through Sport initiative
With UNODC's Global Programme, Palestinian youth Line Up, Live Up through sports
Empowering Palestinian youth through UNODC's Line Up, Live Up initiative