Canon Launches “Young People Programme” in Jordan to inspire, Educate & Empower Young people

by Ahmed Zaky
  • The program will be held under the Patronage of E. Ms. Haifa Najjar, the Minister of Culture of Jordan
  • The program will be led by Canon Ambassador Muhammed Muheisen & Founder of Everyday Refugees a non-profit Foundation with the collaboration of Princess Alia Foundation

MENA Newswire: Canon, the world’s leading imaging brand, has partnered with Everyday Refugees, a non-profit Foundation, to announce the launch of the Canon Young People Programme”, in Jordan during a Press Conference held under the Patronage of H.E. Ms. Haifa Al-Najjar, the Minister of Culture of Jordan on Tuesday 16 August 2022 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Amman Jordan; and with the collaboration of Princess Alia Foundation and Jordan Tourism Board.

The programme kick starts in partnership with Everyday Refugees & will be led by Canon Ambassador Muhammed Muheisen, a two-time Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist and a global Ambassador for Jordan Tourism Board; with the main emphasis to Inspire, Educate and Empower local youth, giving them a voice to create a better and more sustainable future by introducing them to the power of creative visual storytelling and critical thinking, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This event will be followed by six months of workshops in Za’atari refugee camp starting mid-September with our existing YPP partner Lens on Life. 20 students will be provided with Canon EOS 4000D cameras, followed by educational workshops, certificates on completion, and an exhibition of their creative work.

Attending the press conference was HRH Princess Sana Asem and HE Harry Verweij the Ambassador of The Netherlands in Jordan, as well as representatives from Canon Middle East, Everyday Refugees Foundation, Princess Alia Foundation, Jordan Tourism Board and UNHCR amongst other attendees and high calibre media representation.

H.E the Minister of Culture, Haifa Al-Najjar praised the initiative, stressing the importance of the program and its positive impact on the culture of young Jordanians of both genders, pointing out that the art of photography is part of the cultural industries that the Ministry of Culture is concerned with, as it plays a part in the visual blogging that chronicles the image and aesthetics of a place, events, and social changes.

She said, “In addition to the fact that photography represents a passion for young people to learn, it is also a means for free expression that contributes to strengthening the relationship of young people with the place and allowing them to visually express a historical narrative in parallel to what is written in history; it also provides young people with the opportunity to learn a life skill. For that we value such initiatives offered by the private sector, which have an important role in training and empowering our youth in line with sustainable cultural industries, and we welcome such collaborations that create new spaces for our young children in various cultural and artistic fields.”

During the event Mr. Venkatasubramanian (Subbu) Hariharan, Managing Director, Canon Middle East and Turkey highlighted Canon’s focus on sustainability through this programme saying “We are proud to present the Canon Young People Programme, which will support the next generation with the power of creative visual storytelling, aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and encouraging young people to communicate, voice and highlight the great challenges facing the planet.

He further added. A ‘voice’ can be many things: representation, an opinion, a new view, an additional perspective. It’s these opportunities for self-actualization that are central to the work of the Canon Young People Programme. Through it we have partnered with some truly powerful organizations that work with young people, supporting their work in giving them what they need to articulate their place in the world. And more, to use their ‘voice’ – however it presents itself – in achievements they may never have thought possible. These are organizations that believe in, and fight for, young people who might otherwise be unseen, unheard, and unsupported are playing a pivotal role in not only capturing the positive evolution of the country through visual story telling but we’re documenting the societal and social changes young people want to implement in their lives,” he said. “As a part of a global programme, YPP is just getting started in the region with even bigger and better things to come,” he added.

Photojournalist Muhammed Muheisen also highlighted the importance of choosing Jordan as the destination for this programme by saying, “Jordan is the Kingdom of time and photography is all about capturing moments in time”, also adding that, “Jordan is full of visually striking landscapes and home to multi nationals, and through the Canon Young People Programme I am confident that many stories will be shared with the world through the eyes of my students”.

30 students, 15 Jordanians and 15 refugees, all between the ages of 12 and 18 years with gender diversity and balance who showed passion in photography were selected to take part of this programme, which includes a two-day theoretical masterclass held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel; where Mr. Muheisen will cover an introduction about Canon and its role in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as a technical training on actual cameras and how to capture powerful storytelling images, followed by field trips planned over three days.

During the field trips, part of the students will get the chance to visit at Al-Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife in Jerash on the first day to experience first-hand how to capture stories that matter with the guidance of a world-class master, in visual storytelling such as Muhammed Muheisen. Mr. Muheisen will then visit the refugee camps during the remaining two days of the programme to continue the field practice with his remaining students.

Once the field practices are completed, the 30 students will get the chance to apply their learnings on their own as Canon will be providing them with the required tools along with loaned cameras that they can use during this period; and come September their achievements will be celebrated during a follow-up session that shall be announced in the near future.

To learn more about the Young People Programme, please visit Canon’s website: https://en.canon-me.com/sustainability/

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