Real Time was the lead Participatory Video trainer for Cameras in Hand, a country wide youth video production initiative funded by the United Nations Peace Building Fund in Kyrgyzstan.
The project organised by GPPAC (The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict) in partnership with the local organisation FTI (Foundation for Tolerance International) lasted 12 months. It aimed to empower Kyrgyzstani youth from different ethnic, gender and social backgrounds in the regions of Osh, Jalal-Abad, Chui and Batken to have a voice at local, national and international policy levels and to act as agents of change within their communities.
Real Time, in collaboration with MEND (Middle East Non-violence and Democracy) delivered training for youth workers and teachers from 18 schools over an 8 day period in the capital, Bishkek.
The project itself placed great emphasis on the young people producing videos. This initial training provided an introduction to Participatory Video methodology and its application to production and training projects with young people. It focused on the techniques and exercises to be used, particularly looking at how to initially engage the young people in using video to create simple communication outputs.
Participatory Video’s great strength is its ability to unearth issues and create dialogue. The project in Kyrgyzstan had clear aims for the use of Participatory Video in developing the skills and engagement of young people.
During the training project, the FTI staff gained a clear understanding of how the methodology and techniques might be used in the Kyrgyzstan situation. In particular they saw the need for the widest involvement to make the project succeed and will be working with the schools, teachers and local communities as well as the young people directly involved.
It was evident that there was considerable experience within the group and they were really eager to learn new skills and techniques, it was a really positive experience to work with them. They also demonstrated an understanding of how Participatory Video can be used to develop confidence and uncover issues of importance to the young people. The group members were able to support each other over the coming months in delivering the project and Participatory Video provided the methodology to involve young people in sharing their experiences and engaging with the wider community both locally and nationally.