Aloula First Welfare Society is a charitable organization that was established by women in the Saudi society in 1963. It aims to meet the needs of the community in areas such as health, social care and literacy. The organization has improved thousands of lives. It is committed to helping families break the cycle of poverty, which tends to remain in families for at least 3 generations. This improvement in quality of life can be achieved through early intervention in the form of educational, professional and physical training as well as through the development of 21st century skills.
21st century skills allow youth to be better equipped to take on different challenges and create various career opportunities for themselves. These skills enable them to break the cycle of poverty, achieve their goals and become contributing members of society. In the 21stcentury, having the understanding and capability to creatively express ideas through multiple forms is a vital skill through which various communication technologies can be used in creative ways to tell stories and explore concepts for diverse purposes. This can be achieved through experiential learning of multimedia production with a focus on video production.
Through learning about video production, youth can engage in effective media literacy and media arts education; and the skills set they develop as a result is marketable and increasingly being integrated across multiple sectors: everything from academia to the professional industries. In addition, multimedia is the perfect tool to create awareness about many difficult issues by taking the edge off,since it acts as a form of edutainment. Such an opportunity is exactly what has been needed by youth in South Jeddah; and we are proud to have worked with Aloula to make this program a reality. Indeed, these youth would otherwise have not had such opportunities in the developing neighborhoods that they live in.
We designed this multimedia education program for 25 male and 25 female participants who range in age from 15-18 years old. The program begins with 8 sessions of cognitive training through which youth learn how to think creatively along with other skills used in the preproduction process of video production (e.g., writing scripts, doing research and learning about the stages of video production). This is followed by 8 sessions of technical training during which youth learn how to use various equipment, programs and technologies.
Finally there are 3 sessions of thematic training. As a result of these experiences, not only can the youth produce different types of short videos such as documentaries and films, but they are also empowered with 21stcentury skills like analytical thinking and effective communication, and the ability to use teamwork and innovation to challenge themselves and transform their ideas into successful video projects. What is more, by ensuring that the video production program’s design included awards and recognition, private sector engagement, a focus on Arabic content relevant to Saudi social values, and impact assessment; we were able to make the program more effective.