ASPIRAR 2.1, a media-skills and journalism workshop organized by the International Youth Alliance for Peace (IYAP), was held on the 16th and 17th of January 2016, at Spectrum Institute of Science and Technology, No 100, Bauddhaloka Mawatte, Colombo 04. The workshop focused mainly on themes such as social media, journalism and short-film making. It was an initiative of the IYAP to educate young people about media, journalism and photography, thereby empowering them contribute to the progress of society through these mediums. The participants of this workshop were undergraduate students from various universities and institutes around the country.
Starting at 9:10 AM, the first day of the workshop included a session on “Media Ethics” by Sukumar Rockwood, the Chief Executive Officer of the Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCSSL). This was followed by a comprehensive discourse on interview skills by Sulochana Ramiah, the Deputy Editor at Ceylon Today. A session on feature writing was subsequently conducted by Thirukumar Premakumar, Features Editor at Virakesari. The first day was rounded up with an interactive session on short film and documentary-making by Arshad Najudeen, a former producer and news anchor at ITN. As a part of this session, the participants at the workshop were asked to form groups and create scripts for short films based on the theme, social awareness.
The second day of the workshop was kicked off by a session on social media by young writer and columnist, Senel Wanniarachchi, who spoke of the significant role played by the internet and social media in the implementation of human rights, as well as in modern revolutions. Following this session, a short film-making competition was held where groups of attendees were allocated a photographer each, in order to allow them to create and enact short films based on the scripts they penned on the first day. The final session for the day was facilitated by a young journalist, Aisha Nazim, and it focused on the topic “Creative and news writing.” The participants were given a chance to exercise their literary skills during this session. The programme was interspersed with ice-breaker activities that allowed the participants to relax, interact with each other and enjoy themselves in between sessions.
The workshop was a positive step taken by the IYAP towards empowering and educating young people in the country. Undergraduate student, Achini, 22, who attended the workshop, said, “I loved the programme. It was an interesting experience, especially the short film-making session. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know and all of us had a great time sharing ideas and trying out new things.” The IYAP is a youth-based volunteer organization that works towards reconciliation and the eradication of conflict and violence in the country. In addition, it equips young people with the required knowledge and skills to build a sustainable future. Apart from youth development workshops, IYAP is also involved in several campaigns and action-oriented programs.
For more information about the IYAP, please visit www.iyapsl.org, www.facebook/IYAP.org, www.twitter/iyap_org, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the national coordinator of IYAP, Thariq Ahamed via the phone number 0094773144814.