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Talib-e-Aman aims to propagate peace narratives amongst the student body in Pakistani universities. The program provisions an innovative solution to address the lack of positive socio-cultural and non-academic intellectually stimulating activities for university students on campuses, and in everyday life. Primary goal of Talib-e-Aman program is enriching student life and creating a vibrant and pluralistic student culture on university campuses. Talib-e-Aman offers constructive opportunities and platforms that bring together students for socio-cultural activities using media and technology which is pivotal in building positive alternative mindsets among our youth. It is one of the program’s learnings that improving media skills and capacitating in digital innovation leads to quality content production by students to contribute to promotion of positive messages in their families, communities and campuses and in achieving the program’s goal.
To achieve the program goals, GNMI has designed the IIEA framework of activities:
This component of Talib-e-Aman focuses on mapping the educational institutions which are most affected by the lack resources and media and tech based non-academic intellectual platforms. Identified universities are then reached out by GNMI for enrollment and inclusion in the Talib-e-Aman program. Subsequently, students who are willing to actively partake in and grow the aforementioned platforms are identified with the help and support of varsity management and enrolled in the program. They are also provided orientation regarding program objectives and activities.
The program strengthens student societies, clubs, spaces and other structures in the participating universities to ensure sustainability through institutionalization of said structures. Multiple means of support are provided to empower and benefit the students, and so that students and universities can continue the program beyond its life cycle.
One of the major components of Talib-e-Aman is to equip university students with knowledge and awareness on media production, enhancing their technical capacities in digital media tools and social media to produce quality content from within their communities on social inclusion, tolerance and peacebuilding. This is done through training workshops, seminars, mentoring and facilitation. In-depth training manuals are developed tailored to the needs of students. Experts are engaged from relevant fields of technology and media to conduct informative and knowledge activities with participating university students. Some equipment and other institutional support is also provided to sustain application of knowledge and skills instilled and transform it to practice.
At this stage, students take the lead and work on their individual tech/media projects to reflect upon issues related to tolerance, social cohesion and peacebuilding among their communities. GNMI facilitates them in this process. Once completed, the projects are presented to media/tech experts and varsity officials who are involved throughout the program duration for highlighting students’ achievements. These projects are also disseminated on GNMI’s social media platforms for broader recognition.
So far, the program has engaged Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU) Khairpur and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Lyari (BBSUL) Karachi. Established total four (4) media clubs – two (2) media clubs in each university. The students were provided technical guidance and mentorship to create media projects aimed at highlighting positive narratives. A total of 276 students and 10 faculty members directly benefitted from this intervention and 20 media projects of production quality were developed by students using their learning from training and mentoring program. Students have established a community of practice sharing the projects that they created, networking with students and giving feedback to each other to grow and sustain media activities at the university.
Also in the program, online orientations and physical trainings on digital tools pertaining to contemporary and non-contemporary media such as mobile journalism (MOJO), Web Content and News Startups-Social Media Channels, were conducted.
Project displays and panel discussion sessions with educationalists and media experts on “Media education for social cohesion and inclusivity” and “The role of digital media in building peace, harmony and tolerance”, too, were conducted.
These sessions culminated with a closing ceremony in which certificates and shields were distributed to the students and faculty members.