Are you a high school student in Ottawa seeking to complete volunteer hours in a meaningful way this summer? Join us in a project aimed at helping Syrian voices be heard.
About the Initiative
A Tale of Two Cities is a SecDev Foundation initiative to connect Canadian and Syrian youth to collaborate on cutting through the noise of conflict to be heard. Five Canadian high school students will apply their mandatory volunteer hours, to support Syrians of a similar age to create, publish, and share messaging with the aim of being heard by a broader audience, and in some cases gain much needed humanitarian support.
To that end the team in two cities will work together to frame stories of youth in Syria by:
- Writing simple blog posts in the voice of these youth;
- Creating visual campaigns using Canva;
- Building a website using Weebly to publish content; and
- Reaching out to others using social media to share the message.
To achieve this, the team will be led and guided by SecDev Foundation staff including our Director of Strategic Communications, Media Activist Field Manager; and Strategic Communications and Multimedia Designer. The team will draw from How To material as created for our Be Heard learning portal.
An example of our Be Heard awareness videos in English.
Volunteer time will be spent in our office in Ottawa during the week of July 25, 2016.
How to Apply
If you are interested in participating, please send an email to a.wanl[email protected] explaining how you might contribute as a valuable team member by June 30th, 2016.
About Be Heard and SalamaTech
Local Syrian voices for peace struggle to be heard through the noise of war. Launched in February 2016, Be Heard is a mobile-first, online learning portal helping Syrian nonviolent voices reach a wider audience.
High School Students Help Syrians
The Syrian conflict is the first protracted war to be fought on and through the internet. All actors use the internet to organize, plan, and share information; some use it to document human rights abuses and bear witness; others use it to propagandize, collect intelligence, sow fear, and win followers.
Currently, the Syrian social media space is dominated by the voices of militant actors. Social media is used as a weapon of war. By contrast, the voices of Syrian non-violent actors have been drowned out by the noise of violence and extremism. To the outside world, the concept of Syrian civil society has been largely reduced to that of powerless “refugees.”
But Syrian non-violent citizens – who believe in peace, in human rights, in justice – are still there, working hard on the ground and in their places of refuge for a better future. It is these courageous men and women – both inside and outside Syria – that Be Heard aims to empower. Be Heard provides easy-to-use guidance and resources on how to communicate effectively online, while staying safe.
Be Heard is an intiative by The SecDev Foundation’s SalamaTech project. Since 2012 SalamaTech has helped millions of Syrian non-violent citizens stay safe online and, more recently, to use social media to make their voices heard. We provide customized, easy-to-use security and social media guidance, tools, training and resources, and ongoing online support. We provide emergency technical support to Syrians who have been arrested, or had their accounts hacked or disabled. Our network of Information Freedom Champions provide in situ trainings to Syrians trapped inside Syria. Our cyber-security experts help build the capacity of emerging Syrian civil society organizations through digital safety audits and real-time remediation.