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US workshop on public service announcements concludes in Kuwait

Representatives from Barefoot Workshops during the two-week training workshop, entitled "Media, Activism and Democracy."
Representatives from Barefoot Workshops during the two-week training workshop, entitled "Media, Activism and Democracy."
(With photos) KUWAIT, Dec 7 (KUNA) -- Representatives from seven Kuwaiti non-governmental organizations (NGOs) held a screening Thursday evening of locally-made public service announcements (PSAs) that they recently produced.
According to a press release by the US Embassy, the PSAs were the culmination of a two-week workshop by an American organization to teach PSA production skills to Kuwaiti civil society organizations.
At the screening, the audience of NGO representatives and guests saw more than a dozen PSAs on such topics as childhood health and nutrition, voter registration, women, youth and domestic workers.
The screening and the workshop were given by Barefoot Workshops, a New York-based non-profit group that provides digital video production training to NGOs around the world. It was funded by the US-Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), a US-government program that supports democracy-building in the Middle East.
The two-week training workshop, entitled "Media, Activism and Democracy," was held November 25 to December 6. Participants were taught how to write, shoot, produce and edit PSAs. They were given access to low-cost video equipment in order to practice their craft and produce video messages. PSAs are short video presentations that raise awareness of an issue or present a point of view.
The release quoted the US Embassys Press Attache James Fennell as saying at the screening that the purpose of the MEPI-funded workshop was to help build the capacity of civil society organizations to educate the public and raise awareness of issues.
"Through the training youve received over the past two weeks and in future products you produce, you can better encourage responsible and respectful debate among Kuwaitis about issues of concern to them," he said. "That is the crucial role that civil society plays in a democracy." According to Barefoot Workshop Founder and Director Chandler Griffin, this is the first workshop of its kind in Kuwait.
"Our aim is to train citizen groups in how to use low-cost digital technology to spread their concerns and messages thereby transforming their communities from within," he said.
Citizen-produced videos, he added, can be powerful tools to influence public policy and encourage citizen participation in Kuwait.
The PSAs will be made available in Arabic and English to broadcasters and other organizations who wish to distribute them rights free. In addition to making them available to broadcasters, participants will explore social networking tools such as Facebook and YouTube and other innovative ways to reach audiences. (end) ema.rk KUNA 070919 Dec 07NNNN