NGOs learn to promote their message in the media

The message: to open our eyes to the world's and Israel's travesties against basic human rights.

acri women 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
acri women 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The idea is simple: a pair of eyes intertwined with key points from the United Nation's Declaration of Human Rights, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary next week. The message: to open our eyes to the world's and Israel's travesties against basic human rights. Entitled "ACRI - Eyes," the 30-second video is a public service announcement created by ACRI, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, as part of a three-week workshop sponsored by the US State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). The aim is to encourage non-government organizations (NGOs) to use the visual media to spread their messages. In addition to ACRI, six other Israeli organizations participated in the workshop, which ended this week. The six are Agenda, the Israeli Center for Communication Strategy; Muntada, the Arab Forum for Sexuality Education and Health; Israeli-Arab photography project Givat Haviva; Sikkuy, the Association for Civic Equality; Supportive Community for Women's Business Development, and FIDEL, the Association for Education and Social Integration of Ethiopian Jews in Israel. All of the organizations were taught how to write, shoot, produce and edit a 30-second video to raise awareness about issues of public concern. Each NGO created one or more public service announcements and brainstormed ways to distribute their product to both traditional and non-mainstream media "We'll use one of our public service announcements to highlight the 60th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights next week," said Melanie Takefman, International Communication and Development coordinator for ACRI, who participated in the workshop on behalf of the organization. "It really helped me understand how to maximize our potential and really spread our message using more modern media such as the Internet," she added. "Realizing your human rights and understanding them only helps to empower a person." William Stevens, deputy press attache for the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, explained that the workshop, which was facilitated by the non-profit, New York-based production company Barefoot Workshops, was aimed at furthering social causes in the Middle East.