Dounia Project

The Dounia Project aims at creating a safe and nurturing space where students from different urban areas around the world can complete their homework and participate in a set of extracurricular activities during non-school hours, which will allow them to develop the necessary skills to compete in an increasingly globalized world. DP's overall goal is to create a global network of programs where young people can interconnect with each other, exchange their ideas and find ways to make their world a better place.
May 19, 2015

What is the best way to engage youth?

DP
DP's President @ UN Student Leadership Conference

What is the best way to engage youth? This is the question that we have been asking ourselves for the past few months while restructuring our programs. We conducted brainstorming sessions, brought in a new board member, discussed with partners and other fellow educators and youth engagement experts and all this brought very interesting angles and ideas on how to best engage youth. However, the most relevant information came from our participants themselves telling us what they want learn and do and what was missing for programs like ours. The answer was clear: "we want to learn about the world, to network and communicate, to talk about our daily lives, to engage our peers, communities, and families, to use digital and communication tools, to exchange ideas, and most importantly to have the prospects of a better future and feel like we belong to our society."  

We are currently reshaping our curriculum making sure that all the elements raised by our participants are addressed. This curriculum is focusing on connecting, empowering and activating youth around the world through digital media and community advocacy. We are developing classroom specific toolkits in two languages (English and French), reviewing the components of our new online platform (that we are planning on piloting in September 2015 and launching in January 2016), and starting on the schools and clubs recruitment process. 

We know what our youth participants want and what is important to them. We pledge to create a space online and offline to allow them to connect, discuss, exchange, advocate and shape the world they want to live in. 

Jan 29, 2015

A New Vision for Dounia Project

Recording on the ground
Recording on the ground

Board members of Dounia Project met to revise and agree on a new vision for the organization. The meeting focused on how to enhance the global collaboration between the existing sites and new sites and on ways to making these exchanges more interesting contentwise and more beneficial for youth participants.

The first element would be to create a special platform dedicated only to the Global Collaboration project sites where youth and adult facilitators could access a specially designed curriculum and guide, a videoconferencing site, a space for exchange, debate and discussion via a forum, and a wall where youth participants’ media pieces will be displayed.

The second element would be to have participants learn to create and produce Web TV shows and Podcasts and showcase these media pieces onto the online platform to share with their peers and start debating around the issues raised.

The final element would be to invite schools and youth clubs around the world to apply to the project and provide a global debate in our platform facilitated by our multilingual community managers.

We are planning on launching this space in May 2015. In the meantime, sites in Casablanca and in New York will be trained to create web TV shows and/or podcasts and the best work will be displayed on the launch of the platform with a special videoconference discussing best practices and challenges.

Let’s get started!

Links:

Oct 23, 2014

Dounia Project presence in France

Carpet made with recycled materials
Carpet made with recycled materials

Early this month, our president and co-founder, Zayn Abaakil presented the Dounia Project model during a UNICEF-led conference on Innovating for Children’s Rights in Arcachon, France. She conducted workshops on ways to engage young people online and offline and on strategies of sucessful global collaboration. We had a great feedback from the attendees including propositions to implement the project in high schools in France.

The Dounia Project team has now started working with a developer based in Greece on a new collaborative online platform and developing and updating new curricula for school and after-school settings.

Participants in Morocco, after a two-month long break came back and worked on a recycle project conducted by the Moroccan visual artist Maria Karim. They gathered abandoned objects and materials and they are in the process of creating furniture and decorative objects. The most important during these workshops is for the participants to understand the process of reusing materials that are usually discarded and their role as responsible global citizens caring about their environment.

Simultaneously, a group of new participants in Casablanca is starting a three-month long writing, video production and editing for fiction and non-fiction workshop conducted by the Moroccan videographer and Dounia Project assistant director Abdelhadi Zaatari. Participants will receive a certificate after completing all sessions and will apply for video contests relevant to their final productions.

Participants in all locations continue to use the closed Dounia Project Facebook group to communicate with each other, debate on issues and share their activities, talents, and creations. We are planning on migrating all content to the new platform by March 2015, where participants will once again have a dedicated space to debate, create, collaborate and exchange.

Event in Arcachon, France
Event in Arcachon, France
Conference in Arcachon, France
Conference in Arcachon, France

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