Khabar Khair (Only Good News) – Fatima Rashad
In order to upgrade the efficiency of Yemeni youth and improve their income opportunities, eight institutions worked on supporting cultural projects specialized in cultural heritage.
This project is part of a series of experiments implemented by UNESCO in the Arab world to revive the cultural heritage and maintain its existence through its youth and enable them to create employment opportunities and recreation for themselves, and to show their creative potential through the proper use of social media, through its program (cash-for-work).
With the support of UNESCO and in partnership with SNPS, eight cultural project titles were submitted inspired by cultural institutions that will restore the features of cultural heritage to all Yemen. Aden governorate has gotten two projects by two institutions that will implement the project, and Al-Hodeidah has gotten one institution and so has Hadramout, while Sana’a has gotten more than one institution sponsoring this project and restoring cultural heritage through youth.
Main titles of these institutions that have been implemented is the (Wojooh) Foundation, which has a project under the title “Raising the Voices of Young Poets”. And in the Basmant Foundation “Mejdaf”, the Yemeni House of Music and Arts “Yemeni Tales and Legends”, World Youth Organization Together “Yemeni Film Factory”, Society for Children and Women’s Development “Women’s Development” and Aden again “Adeni Identity” and artistic Dora Mims with a project entitled “Naqsha” and Preservation of Manuscripts society “Enqad”.
These institutions trained and built the capabilities of 221 young men and women, 62% of whom were women, which in return helped to create 250 employment opportunities. The institutions worked to produce 460 documented historical content including “poems, a series of radio episodes, films, and produced 588 artworks and craftworks.
As for institutions, 75% of institutions can reach out other donors nowadays, 87% of institutions improve their income by 21%, and 37,5% of institutions have increased their ability to design a management plan for follow-up and evaluation. In addition, the Agency provided administrative training courses specialized in rehabilitating these institutions by introducing them to the administrative aspects of organized institutional work.
Mazen Sharif from the (Aden Again Foundation) told Khabar Khair (Only Good News): “Our project within the livelihood program was titled “The Identity of Eden” to document the architectural character of Aden, in addition to training students of the Department of Architecture and the Department of Interior design at the Faculty of Engineering.”
Mazen added: “The training lasted for 4 days, and this is the first time ever a training course is held on a topic related to Adeni architectural character , and one of the most important outputs of the project was qualifying ten architects and interior designers and ten beneficiaries, in addition to documenting 48 houses within 4 months during the field visit and taking measurements, and we also prepared house archiving in a book that we were unable to publish because we couldn’t afford the costs of printing such book , but we distributed brochures to raise the awareness and we distributed introductory post cards as well .”
Poetic voices in Wojooh
Regarding the outcomes of the training courses and workshops held by the (Wojooh) Foundation for Making Young Poets’ Voices, the trainee poet, Saba Al-Awadi, tells Khabar Khair (Only Good News): “The project to raise the voices of young poets was a wonderful and successful project by all means, we breathed a sigh of relief, and we also learned and wrote about indigenous Yemeni heritage.
Saba added: “We have also learned different means for publishing our poems widely on social media (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs, and Instagram.), so that our voices can reach everyone easily, as was announced from the first sight about a competition for the best poems related to heritage, and at the end of the session the names of the first winners were announced in the competition, and I had participated with a poem entitled “come to reconstruction”.
As poet Muhammad Dahra told Khabar Khair (Only Good News): “The idea of the project was for everyone to submit his poems to websites, and after short-listing, only 40 poets under the age of 30 stayed on the list. We were also trained to recite, and symbolic pockets of money were given to us, and the qualifiers ended with me getting first place in folk poetry., within the category of folk poetry.
Muhammad Dahra continued saying: “I believe these courses, competitions and seminars lift the spirit of the poet, writer, painter or any talented person. We hope to receive attention from the competent authorities, especially the Ministry of Culture, so that it provides us with such training courses that will benefit us in our creative field.”.
on his part, the poet trainer Ziad Al-Qahm said: “The project provided distinguished opportunities for tens of young men and women working in different cultural fields, that are twofold opportunities, as they included first: giving them training and building their capacity. Second: giving them the opportunity to work for money and increase their experiences in working on heritage development and making heritage-inspired artworks.
Al-Qahm continued, saying: ”The project is also considered a support for the cultural institutions that implemented the project’s programs, some of which were halted, and there is a gap in the cultural work because of this halt. I personally worked in training at the Yemeni House of Music in the field of turning folk tales into dramatic radio scenarios, and the program’s outputs were already implemented since a radio series was produced and broadcasted, this is an honor for young people who have worked in writing, music and acting.”
on his part, Mansour Al-Jaradi (Director of the Wojooh Foundation) told Khabar Khair (Only Good News): ” (Wojooh) Foundation was nominated among eight cultural institutions to participate in the livelihood program supported by UNESCO. We introduced the Young Poets Project and we targeted 40 young poets up to the age of 33, the project to introduce cultural heritage through poems.
Al-Jaradi added: “We trained them by introducing poetry and writing poems, and we wrote a number of poems about heritage, and we trained them on how to create opportunities to increase their income through social media, platforms and YouTube. They were also trained culturally and, in the media, and there was a great achievement by the youth participating with us. “.
Al-Jaradi mentioned the Manuscripts Rescue Project, which provided training courses whose members gained experience in preserving manuscripts and archiving them correctly so that the history and heritage of Yemen would not be lost.
The project did not end here, there is a next phase in which content creators will be re-appearing.