Last week 65 youth participants – including 17 from the municipalities – attended an exciting two-day workshop facilitated by the Well Told Story group at the Knua Juventude Fila-Liman youth entrepreneurship and innovation hub in Dili.
Following opening remarks by Director General for Secretary of State for Youth and Labour Mr. Paul Alves, Radio Televisaun Timor-Leste (RTTL) President Mr. Gil da Costa and UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Roy Trivedy, the group provided an overview of the innovative Shujaaz platform followed by presentations and interactive sessions focusing on how effective research, data use, stories and multimedia communications content can mobilise and empower youth on key issues.
Through the established interactive multi-media platform “Shujaaz” launched in 2009, the Well Told Story group has been able to influence the national youth discourse and drive behaviour change in Kenya and Tanzania, including inspiring youth with income generation and entrepreneurship ideas and so were able to share relevant ideas and experiences with youth in Timor-Leste.
The group provided some good advice to youth participants on engaging using different multimedia platforms such as radio, printed comics and social media such as how to start a conversation with audiences, defining good stories and campaign objectives and addressing and overcoming barriers to communication.
In his closing remarks, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Mr. Roy Trivedy said: “This workshop has provided an important opportunity for youth in Timor-Leste to share experiences and learn from each other and the Well Told Story group”.
Dulce da costa Ximenes, 22, is from Viqueque and a volunteer at Klibur Foinsae Tane Timor which focuses on leadership training for youth. She said: “My objective of attending the workshop was to expand my knowledge of entrepreneurship.
“I learned a lot of useful skills such as qualitative and quantitative research methodology. It was also inspiring to hear how the Well Told Story group established their organization and how they were able to overcome challenges.
“Going forward, I think it will be important to continue to create networks with youth in Timor-Leste and other countries.”
Jose Francisco Efi, 37, is from Oe-cusse and is Station Manager at Radio Communidade Atoni Lifau. He said: “It was very useful to learn about implementing research in the community using different approaches.
“If we start any programme without collecting data first, we cannot expect to have a strong impact. We need to first have a good knowledge of our target audiences.”
During their week in Dili, the Kenya and Tanzania-based double International Emmy Award-winning organisation also met Government, civil society, youth council, embassy and UN representatives to discuss approaches to transformative storytelling, developing relevant communications channels, using data effectively to strategically engage with and promote the voices of youth.
This included meetings with Radio Televisaun Timor-Leste (RTTL) President Mr. Gil da Costa and the team at Radio Comunidade Comoro, where the group recorded a promo for listeners and exchanged experiences of connecting with and mobilising listeners using local radio.
Social Media Producer Farida Nzilani also participated in an interview (listen from 08.00 onwards) with the ABC Australia morning radio show Pacific Mornings to explain how Shujaaz has been able to successfully engage youth audiences in Kenya and Tanzania and how these approaches can be applied in the context of Timor-Leste to mobilise youth to communicate with and each other on pressing issues.