Global Collaboration Project

by Dounia Project
Youth Video Conference USA/Morocco
Youth Video Conference USA/Morocco

Dounia Project teams are preparing themselves for the launch of the new program activities focusing on climate change and digital mapping. New partnership opportunities with local organizations and schools have emerged and we are working tirelessly to ensure that we will be able to provide tools and activities that would meet everyone’s needs. The team is currently reviewing the curriculum to provide a more solid and complete package, which would include the visual arts and digital media. Our developers are also working on a digital platform to offer a safe and active space specifically dedicated to our youth participants to share their work and communicate with their peers around the world.

We are currently applying for small grants and urging our current supporters to help us raise enough funds to continue developing the digital mapping platform and secure its on-going maintenance in order to complete the preparation phase. Most importantly, we want to continue providing to our youth quality programs and ensure their preparedness for the future and we will make certain of it with our new program.

Presenting a digital mapping project at COP 21
Presenting a digital mapping project at COP 21

It has been a long year of preparation for Dounia Project and its new programs. First, the team has developed a curriculum on how to create web video shows and podcasts including a step-by-step guide to developing youth-friendly content for the web. Moreover, we have applied to several grants to have the necessary funds to launch a newly designed Dounia Project website and a digital platform where youth-produced content can be uploaded. We are also adding a community-mapping dimension to the curriculum as a tool for digital storytelling. 

The project is taking some time to be reshaped and reconstructed in a way that it addresses the needs of youth today and throughout the world. Our objective is to empower youth through the use of innovation tools and provide them with the necessary skills to embrace the opportunities available to them. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that all these elements are included in our curriculum and that our tools are properly up to date. 

So far, we have reached out to a few high schools, clubs and universities in Morocco, the US, Mexico, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Malaysia that have shown interest in the project. We had to move the timeline for the launch of the new edition of the project to August 2016 and spend the next seven/eight months in the planning, preparation and completion phases. We are planning on recruiting participants before June 2016 and start the project by September 2016. 

Stay tuned for more updates! 

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. 

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!


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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Organization Information

Dounia Project

Location: Bronx, NY - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Zayn Abaakil
Bronx, NY United States
$7,549 raised of $70,000 goal
196 donations
$62,451 to go
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