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Making videos with young women

Young women participating in Project Red:GLOW were given the challenge of working together to develop short films to explain the concept to other young women. This was both important and illuminating.

The links between citizenship, personal development and professional success in young women’s lives are complex. So complex, that the Red:GLOW project prepared a guide on this for youth workers and a report for policymakers.

Explaining concepts is an important learning tool. To teach or to explain, we first have to understand. The young people found the challenge of working on the videos furthered their own understanding of the concepts behind Red:GLOW, as well as what they have learned in the leadership and volunteering components.

Giving voice to young women

Creating and crafting the films, from beginning to end, gave young people the chance to lead and share what was important to them. The process developed with young filmmaker Adriana Laskari supported them to identify the stories that spoke to them and that they thought would inspire others.

Too often young women’s empowerment only focussed on certain aspects of their lives, without giving them the opportunities to be heard and share what is actually important to them. These films do not attempt to explain the whole concept of the project, but to give young women the opportunity to share what they feel to be most important to them and their peers.

Developing skills

Film-making provides the opportunity to develop many soft skills. It requires leadership, teamwork, negotiation, communications, understanding of one’s audience, strong time-management. The young women who created these films had the chance to develop these skills and to reflect on their successes and the challenges they overcame with youth workers.

Capacity building for youth workers and youth organisations

Short films are an important way in which we learn, especially if we are sharing through social media. Creating films, especially with limited budgets, can seem daunting. This process showed that the creation of simple films did not have to be strenuous and did not require highly-skilled people.

Additionally, creating bilingual films, which could be understood in the local language, but have an impact much further through subtitling. This empowers youth workers from countries whose experience is often not well-shared, like Latvia or Slovenia, due to a few speakers of these languages, to be heard further across Europe.

This means that Red:GLOW member organisations, not just the young women engaged in this work, have the skills to use film to inspire young women and youth workers in future.

Key learning from youth workers involved in Red:GLOW was the importance of giving young women the chance to put their learning into practice. Making films about their experiences and digesting their learning for their peers has proven to be an excellent way to do this, and is a technique that we will be using again in future.

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