Pioneers Human Rights Film Workshop

NomadsHRC teamed up with the Sahrawi Ministry of Culture, 20 May Pioneers School and FiSahara to offer a film impact workshop that was training children to use film as a pedagogical tool for human rights learning.

This workshop took place in February 2020, in the local school for at-risk children – 20 May Pioneers School, held in the Sahrawi refugee camps near Boujdour camp. For two weeks, an international instructor, Emilio Martí, working with a local film instructor combined screenings and discussions connected to human rights issues relevant to the children in order to introduce film as a learning tool both for children and teachers. 51 students, between the ages of 12 and 16 coming from different social situations, learned basic filmmaking skills and made a short film about a human rights issue connected to their lives that will be screened for the community and at FiSahara, with the children leading the discussions.

Film has the potential to support the curriculum and engage students effectively around human rights issues now that the Sahrawi educational system faces a significant crisis due to cuts in international aid.

Impact: Sahrawi children became familiar with basic human rights values and ideas, and understood how they affect their daily lives. They grew into more informed citizens and learned about peace-building through film, culture and dialogue, making them less vulnerable to radicalization and violence. Children engaged in multidisciplinary learning by watching and discussing films that relate to concepts taught in the classroom. As this pilot project worked, the next step is to expand it to other schools.

One of the end products of this workshop is a short-animated film, Little Sahara, made collaboratively by the children of Pioneers School and Martir Jalil Sidahmed School and their workshop instructor, Emilio Martí.

“The last two weeks have been unforgettable for our children. For the first time, they have drawn and narrated their lives and their dreamed futures. They have felt loved, appreciated and respected, and they in turn have loved, appreciated and respected themselves”. Brahim Mohamed Ali Bachri, Poet and instructor at the Pioneers school in the Sahrawi refugee camps.

Partners: Sahrawi Ministry of Culture, 20 May Pioneers School, FiSahara

Supported by: Movies That Matter, Asociación de Amigos del Pueblo Saharaui Basel (Suiza), Dimes Foundation, Emilio Martí, Bertha Foundation

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