On March 12, as part of a series on Media Training and Writing Workshops, ALiGN hosted “Storytelling with Impact,” a workshop presented online with refugees from Kakuma Camp in Kenya.

The theme of the workshop, presented by interim co-Directors of the lab, Kathy Dobson and Ghadah Alrasheed, included the importance of knowing what you want to say, how to say it, and the critical role of targeting your writing for a specific audience. The workshop also included storyboarding – a powerful component of telling stories ‘digitally’ through video.

“The participants have so many fascinating and important stories to tell,” says Dobson, “we can’t wait to share them with the readers of ALiGN, and beyond.”

Alrasheed was also impressed by the level of interest in telling their stories through video, and looks forward to future workshops to help them showcase some of their work.

“It’s wonderful how eager they seem to offer some insight about their lives in the camp and we’re really excited to help them do that.”

One of the participants in the workshop, Pascal Zigashane, who also helped organize the group in Nairobi, says the workshop was really helpful in several practical ways. Zigashane says the group especially appreciated being given a platform and opportunity to control the narratives about themselves, and write their own stories about some of their lived experiences.

“The workshop was so useful to us as young refugees because we’ve been dreaming about how to change the perceptions about refugees through our own storytelling.”

Zigashane says it was helpful to do a workshop on the steps necessary for learning how to focus on a specific topic and then be able to reach a large and broad audience. He added that having control of their own narrative – their own stories – also gives them hope.

“The ALiGN workshop helped shine a light of hope for all of us by giving us the skills and knowledge on how to write our stories, and how to share them with others in Canada, and beyond.”

Zigashane is looking forward to future workshops with ALiGN,and having his work published with the lab.

The workshop series is part of ALiGN’s commitment to offering a platform to some of the missing and silenced voices from around the globe, as the lab continues to strive to create as many opportunities for members of oppressed and marginalized groups to be heard as possible.

If you would like to learn more about Dobson’s and Alrasheed’s Media Training and Writing Workshops for your own group, please get in touch. You can reach them at the lab at alignmedialab@gmail.com