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Creating something from nothing is a powerful ability inside each and every one of us. Not all people have opportunities to discover and exercise this power. #MeWe International Inc. uses the processes of strategic communications and storytelling as tools for healing, empowerment, and community building.
While grounded in a social entrepreneurship framework, the #MeWe storytelling program for changemakers intentionally integrates therapeutic frameworks, borrowing from narrative therapy and logotherapy, to focus more specifically on self-awareness, trauma recovery, and restoration of control and agency in a context of perceived powerlessness.
In the process of collaborative storytelling, the #MeWe methodology enhances youth spaces for internal, interpersonal, and community communication. These are the ingredients for sustainable peace and development that youth are not able to exercise and live out in traditional education programs and status-quo youth engagements.
#MeWe International Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 non profit organization registered in Georgia, USA. All donations are tax deductible.
[Check here to explore MeWe’s current initiatives for Syrian refugee youth, and track back on reflections from the project’s 8+ years of empowering youth through the power of the storytelling process.]
Each young person is a carrier of innovation, hope and changemaking. One of the biggest threats to peace and development are generations of youth who are not being activated as communicators, creative leaders, and changemakers. Consequently, many youth fall into alienation, depression, and sometimes violence or extremism.
Since 2009, MeWe storytelling workshops have contributed to youth social development through the power of storytelling and the arts in North Africa, South Asia and the Middle East. The MeWe workshops and methodologies catalyze a transformative process in which young people begin to dream, lead and act.
Me/We believes that by decentralizing the power of narrative, young people can positively redefine their story and role in society, and rebuild an ecosystem in which they can organically work towards social change and personal growth.
#MeWe’s hypothesis: An arrested narrative of oneself translates to an arrested development of the person and their community. A plural and resilient narrative of oneself can translate to unlocking the potential of the person and their community.
Workshops involve team-building and empathy exercises that also encourage youth to use mistakes as a source for innovation and creative growth. Youth gain 21st century skills in script development, story-boarding strategic messaging, filmmaking, interviewing, basic editing and vlogging. During the process of the storytelling for changemaking, young people identify a social issue or challenge that they want to innovate around for social good. By the end of the experiential program, youth are better equipped as effective communicators for social change, and they are a step closer to launching their own group social ventures or efforts for initiating positive community change.
#MeWe International Inc. is piloting in numbers countries, in refugee as well as non-refugee contexts. Pilots include #MeWeTajikistan, #MeWeEcuador, #MeWeMoldova, #MeWeMexico, #MeWeHonduras. #MeWe International’s best known program is #MeWeSyria, which is currently working with youth mentors, refugee youth, parents, Youth Service Organizations and teachers in: Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan | 3 cities in Southeast, Turkey | 3 cities in Lebanon. The program has received awards and recognition from SOLVE MIT, and UNHCR Innovation, and Open IDEO. Trainees, who are Syrain refugees, are now replicating the storytelling and changemaker program to youth and parents, with a target of reach of 1,000+ by August 2018. Previous phases of MeWe are made possible thanks to the German Government, and Ashoka’s Youth Venture. Implementing partners include: Questscope is hosting Me/We inside Zaatari refugee camp, and the NGOs DARB-Syr, who are leading #MeWeSyria in Turkey.
To learn more, contact MeWe founder Mohsin Mohi Ud Din on the form below, or via Twitter, @mohsindin, @MeWeSyria on Twitter and Instagram.