SAT-7 YOUTH PROJECT INVITED TO GIVE WORKSHOP AT CAIRO UNIVERSITY

SAT-7’s Youth for an Enabling Society (YES) project was invited to one of Egypt’s top universities to run a workshop on caring for the environment and how media can be used to heighten awareness of important issues among young people.

The YES team was initially invited to Cairo University by a student in the Mass Communication Faculty through the project’s recently launched Facebook page, Our Generation Plus. With support from the university, the workshop was organised and held on 15 May.

YES project lead, Rafik George, said:

“This event is important as it is the first time that SAT-7 has been able to cooperate with a government university in Egypt. Cairo University is the second oldest Egyptian university and the third oldest in the Arab world.

“We were welcomed by the university’s students and will have a meeting soon with the dean of the Mass Communication faculty to discuss how to cooperate with the university again. We hope that this initiative will also help us to build bridges with others in Egyptian society.”

SAT-7 invited Ahmed Yassin, the founder of Banlastic, a social impact enterprise in Egypt that advocates the banning of single-use plastics, to speak at the workshop. The YES team presented some of the project’s short videos of environmental initiatives filmed in Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia, and interviewed students about their concerns for the environment.

“There were good interactions with the students regarding the topic,” Rafik said. “The students care about the issue of the environment, and they also wanted to learn about how to use media – making and editing films – to raise awareness about it.”

The university workshop was also a good opportunity to promote the Our Generation Plus Facebook page, where all the YES project’s videos and campaigns are posted. The team has filmed over 40 youth-led initiatives as part of the YES project’s care for the environment activity.

SERIOUS SUBJECT

Further plans include filming a sustainability project in the United Arab Emirates and also making a seven-episode comedy drama called From My Perspective. While comedy may not seem an obvious genre for the serious subject of the environment, the intention is to use the medium to get the attention of Arab youth in a way that more informational content does not.

Rafik explained:

“Young people in Egypt and the Middle East need to know about the seriousness of climate change and its impact on their lives. But most youth in the region believe that this issue is not a priority, so we decided to present a comedy drama showing the future of the earth if we don’t pay attention to it.”

International efforts have been building in recent years to increase awareness of environmental issues in the Middle East and North Africa. The last two COP summits have been held in the region (COP 27 in Egypt; COP 28 in the United Arab Emirates), and this year’s World Environment Day (5 June) is being hosted by Saudi Arabia with a focus on land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience.

The YES project is designed to equip and encourage young people in the MENA to invest themselves in their local communities and wider society. You can read more about it here.

YES is implemented by SAT-7’s Cairo studio and is run in partnership with the Norwegian Mission Society supported by Digni.

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