Azraq refugee camp in Jordan is home to some 35,000 Syrian refugees. These are men, women and children who have fled war-torn Syria in search of safety and a new life.
While the camp provides food, water, sanitation, and education, the days are long and the young people struggle to find their voices and forms of self-expression.
CARE Jordan has been working to provide support, services and programs at the camp since its inception, and recently discovered a group of Syrian teens who spend their days writing scripts and acting their own mimed plays. While unpolished, the performances were moving.
These young creators made a request of CARE: "Let us tell our own stories."
In July CARE is piloting the first in a series of trainings where experienced filmmakers travel to Azraq to lead digital storytelling workshops that ends in the creation of a series of short films made by the young people of Azraq in their own voices.
In this pilot workshop Brandt Andersen (Lone Survivor) will be traveling with cinematographer Tobias Schiessler (Beauty and the Beast, 2017) and actor Jason Beghe (Chicago P.D.) to train the teenagers on such skills as script writing, directing, acting, lighting, sound, and editing.
At the end of the digital storytelling workshop, the films will be screened at Azraq and then launched by CARE and partners online to show these powerful stories to the world.
The workshop is designed to empower young refugees through storytelling, giving them a voice, new digital skills relevant in today's economy and channels for their stories to reach the world.
CARE FUndraising goals
$40,000 — Will fund CARE's initial digital storytelling workshops in Jordan.
$100,000 — Will expand CARE's training for up to 100 young refugees and deepen the curriculum and post-bootcamp support for digital story-telling and digital training in the camps.
$250,000+ — Will mean expanding CARE's current vocational and market access programs in Azraq to another ~500 additional young refugees in need on a yearly basis. The vocational training includes coursework and hands-on training in IT/cell phone repair training, handicraft development, hairdresseing, and salon skills, sewing and tailoring - giving young refugees the resources they need to build their skills and be ready to enter into the global economy with skills and confidence.