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Announcing Meshkat Community Peace Awards

peacegeeks.org/peace-awards/ar لمزيد من المعلومات باللغة العربية، يرجى زيارة الرابط التالي:

Meshkat Community announces the launch of our annual Peace Awards contest. The awards are targeting content creators, youth and community-based leaders and peacebuilders to create innovative, relevant, and timely content that promotes constructive conversations, inclusion, understanding, and resilience in areas such as women, youth, religious communities, minorities, refugees and people with disabilities.

You can apply with one of the following types of content:

  • Fine arts (paintings, murals, etc.)
  • Music or soundtracks
  • Video content (animations, documentaries, short and long movies) including:
    • Short films (1 - 5 minutes)
    • Feature-length films
  • Performing arts and shows
  • Creative writing including script writing, storytelling, etc.

Eligibility Criteria
In order for your application to be considered eligible, you must:

  • Be a resident of the Kingdom of Jordan
  • Submit an original piece of content using one of the above types of content
  • Use a theme relevant to peace, inclusion, understanding and resilience
  • Apply by midnight on April 19 2019
  • Describe how you will use the award to produce more content related to Meshkat themes

Winning submissions will be decided by a panel of local jury of celebrities, experts and influencers who will evaluate the content for quality, creativity, coherence, impact, technical strength and thematic relevance. Awards will be presented on May 10 at 6pm. Details on location to follow.

Apply now! https://goo.gl/forms/ij7fpkngzxehmZ102

For more information, please send an email to awards@meshkat-community.org or call Ahmad at  +962 7 9765 2111

Meshkat Community empowers digital content creators in the Arab World, particularly youth to respond positively to hate, polarization, discrimination and extremism both online and offline spaces.

Join us Online!

Facebook - https://web.facebook.com/pg/meshkatcommunity
Twitter - https://twitter.com/MeshkatComm
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/meshkatcommunity
YouTube - https://goo.gl/wdmr8e

Meshkat Community is a PeaceGeeks project. This project is funded by the Government of Canada.

Mar 19, 2018

PeaceGeeks launches new program in Jordan to respond to extremism in online spaces

PeaceGeeks is excited to announce that we have received funding of $1.1 million CAD from the Government of Canada to launch a new capacity building program in Jordan that responds to hate speech, polarization, discrimination and extremism online.

In recent years, violent extremist groups have used media tactics, such as mobile apps, print magazines, high-end videos, documentaries and social media to effectively recruit and incite violent actions.

The Meshkat Community (مجتمع مشكاة) project engages Jordanian activists, artists, religious leaders and other community stakeholders, particularly youth, to strengthen their capacities and share best practices on promoting alternative narratives to violence and extremism in Jordan and across the Middle East. PeaceGeeks aims to give community members the digital skills and platforms to collaboratively create and amplify culturally-relevant media that promotes acceptance, tolerance and understanding.

The resulting digital content will be produced and featured via social media, YouTube channels, the Meshkat Community website, artistic displays and more.

The project launches with a series of community workshops, co-hosted with partner NGOs including Tech Tribes, Kharabeesh, Nawafth and JOHUD, that aim to incubate ideas for the creation and dissemination of positive narratives, as well as promote dialogue on strengthening community resilience.

Meshkat Community will also gather our first cohort of four local artists who will be trained on strategies for furthering tolerance through their art. The resulting creative productions are independent works of the artists, but will be disseminated in conjunction with PeaceGeeks.

In recent years, violent extremist groups have used media tactics, such as mobile apps, print magazines, high-end videos, documentaries and social media to effectively recruit and incite violent actions. The launch of Meshkat Community comes at a crucial juncture for Jordan, which faces regional tensions due to the influx of 2.7 million refugees, and has seen upwards of 2,000 of its citizens, mostly young men, travel to join extremist organizations such as Daesh (ISIS). While the Jordanian government has launched various programs to counter the spread of extremist ideology, there is much still we can learn from the efficacy of grassroots anti-extremist messages initiated from within Jordanian society and amplified by the power of social media.

The Meshkat Community Arabic language website will go live in May, with an English version to follow.

Jun 15, 2017
Category: Project Profile

Imagine Being Displaced: How the Services Advisor App Helps Refugees

For all the hand-wringing and consternation about the exodus of refugees out of Syria flooding into Europe, it can sometimes be forgotten that the European Union has shouldered only a fraction of the flood of people forced from their homes by the constant rain of rockets and barrel bombs. Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are bowing under the sheer numbers of displaced people from across their borders. They are filling parched Jordan, in the grips of a water crisis, and tiny Lebanon, where Syrians now make up a quarter of the population. This is to say nothing of the over 6 million Syrians internally displaced within their own country. The sheer numbers are staggering, and make every day a struggle for Syria’s neighbours to provide needed services to the millions that they host.

Imagine being sick. Imagine needing medicine or toiletries. Maybe what you might need is being offered somewhere, but how would you find it? How could you make sure you had it when you needed it? Some services might be like needles in haystacks, buried beneath the flood of desperate people. There are over 63 service providers in Jordan all over the country that are constantly changing.

Imagine that. Imagine trying to find the necessities of life while their location is unknown or worse—moving. Imagine a service provider not being able to help and the location of another service provider unknown. How would you find out where to go now? Would knowledge spread by word of mouth? Would information become as priceless as the food or medicine that it might lead too?

This is why the PeaceGeeks Services Advisor app is so important. This app instantly connects refugees in camps with the location of services near them and allows those providing the services to gather a better understanding of what is needed. The ability to harness the ubiquity of smartphones in refugee populations to quickly and accurately disseminate information to them about essential services could  the difference between life and death.

In order for the Middle East to avoid further catastrophe, the stability of countries such as Jordan is paramount. A simple app like the Services Advisor can help. By giving refugees the most important tool of all—information—it can help vulnerable people access the services needed and avoid roiling discontent and desperation. This is the power of technology. For those living at the margins, something like an smartphone and a proper app can make all the difference. A difference that could be made from Jordan to Somalia, from Iraq to Turkey to Greece. Anywhere people have been displaced and need the essentials.

Aug 13, 2016
Category: Thematic Issues

10 hours left to #GiveItUp4Peace!

Six weeks ago, we launched our inaugural #GiveItUp4Peace campaign. Thanks to our incredible community, we have raised over $38,000. We now have less than 8 hours to go to reach $40,000! If you have not donated yet, remember that your donation will be matched till midnight tonight and is eligible for a charitable tax receipt!

Don’t miss this last chance to help make this our most successful campaign yet! 

Today, more than 60 million people are displaced by conflict and disaster, the largest number since World War II. Syria’s Civil War alone has claimed an estimated 240,000 lives and displaced 11.5 million people from their homes. Burundi's conflict has displaced another 230,000. As Canadians, we are increasingly engaging in these important international issues, as we prepare to welcome 25,000 Syrians to new homes and communities in our country in the coming months. 


This past year, we have worked to help civil society organizations in South Sudan, including our partner, Community Empowerment for Progress Organizations, to successfully lobby the United Nations and international donors to pressure the government of South Sudan to return to peace talks and begin the process of restoring stability in the world's newest country. 

We have begun working with Libyan organizations, like our partner Libyan Youth Movement, to amplify the voice of youth as the country begins the slow and hopeful transition towards a peaceful, accountable and prosperous future.

We have supported the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Jordan in helping refugees get better access to information on services available to them through our Services Advisor app, and we are now in talks with UNHCR in Iraq, Turkey and Greece about installing Services Advisor in those locations. We are also designing new app features to help refugees provide feedback on how the UN can better support their needs. 

In the coming year, PeaceGeeks will continue to support those affected by conflict in three main ways 

  1. Continuing to help those displaced by conflict to get access to the services provided by humanitarian organizations operating in host communities.
  2. Exploring how technology can play a role in helping refugees to resettle into their new homes and communities here in Canada.
  3. By contining our work with grassroots peacebuilders and civil society leaders to strengthen peace, accountability and human rights, we will work toward preventing conflict and displacement from occurring in the first place. 

Many challenges remain. In Burundi, our partner Fontaine-Isoko, as well as other civil society leaders, journalists and opposition parties are being violently targeted for attempting to hold the President accountable for violating the country's constitutional two-term limit. As I write, there is a very real risk that Burundi is sliding back towards civil war 9 years after the signing of the peace agreement.

It is in times like these, more than ever, that we must not only support civil society leaders working at home to affect change, but also find our voice to ensure that our country and the institutions that represent us in the world do more to prevent conflicts from escalating into armed violence. We must be courageous so that our partners can continue to do their work. And we need to act as global citizens to address the complex challenges that lie ahead. 

Thank you again for making it possible for PeaceGeeks to support our community of changemakers and peacebuilders in 2016!

Dec 14, 2015
Category:

Services Advisor Continues Helping Refugees in Jordan

We’ve seen them on our TV screens and the covers of newspapers. They’ve been called migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, displaced people. Their situation has been described as desperate, a crisis, a diaspora the likes of which has not been seen since World War II.

As of June 2015, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) reported that over 61 million people worldwide were displaced due to conflict, discrimination and disaster - the highest the largest single year over year increase ever. UNHCR’s primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It supports host countries through refugee intake and the coordination of relief services.

For the 20 million refugees who cross into host countries, finding information on the specific support they need to get settled can be a significant challenge. In some cases, the issue is not lack of services but lack of awareness about where to find information on available services. In addition, while many refugees are aware of the existence of essential services such as food, cash assistance and shelter, many remain unaware of other services such a legal advice, support for survivors of domestic violence and psychosocial support. In a study conducted by UN Women in Jordan, 83% of women and girls surveyed had no knowledge of any services in support of victims of gender-based violence.

For example, Jordan hosts more than 650,000 refugees, mostly Syrians fleeing civil war. More than 60 organizations have provided services in hundreds of locations across Jordan, yet until recently, there was no single accessible tool where refugees and service providers could search on up-to-date information about these services.

To address this issue, PeaceGeeks and the UNHCR launched Services Advisor in the fall of 2014. Designed to connect refugees to information on the services they most need, this application enables users to search a map and directory of humanitarian services based on key filters such as service category, organization, proximity and GPS coordinates.

In April 2015, PeaceGeeks and UNHCR Jordan hosted a workshop with Syrian refugees in Jordan to collect feedback on the current prototype, assess the value of this tool to refugees and UNHCR Jordan, and solicit input on how to improve the app. While we learned that there is indeed a strong and persistent need for a tool like Services Advisor, the workshop also revealed several key areas for improvement. These include performance, user experience and analytics, which have been built into the Services Advisor 1.0 application version, which launched in September 2015.

Its impact is getting noticed. In the video, Skynews Arabia speaks with a representative of the UNHCR in Jordan. They discuss the UNHCR’s efforts to open communications with refugees and help them find the services they need when they first arrive in unfamiliar surroundings.

PeaceGeeks is committed to including refugee voices towards improving the Services Advisor Application. We look forward  to continuing to expand the capabilities of Services Advisor in partnership with UNHCR Jordan, in order to better serve the refugees who rely on humanitarian services to launch new lives free from of conflict.

Oct 14, 2015
Category:
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