COVID era mandates to combat the virus were especially hard on marginalized communities. The situation was particularly difficult for those living in refugee encampments. The Diyarouna Foundation felt a responsibility to support vulnerable children during this time. Diyarouna launched an initiative called "Our Stories Knocking" in the Burj al-Shamali camp in Lebanon. The campaign aimed to share captivating content children could access from the comfort of their homes.
This campaign used storytelling to captivate refugee community audiences of all ages. The stories encouraged community members to stay home and limit unnecessary outdoor activities. And these stories achieved other powerful objectives. The stories:
- inspired learning and engagement by igniting curiosity
- provided opportunities to learn from the diverse cultural heritages of their community
- fostered active listening among all participants (children, men, women and elders), and
- promoted cultural awareness, appreciation and connection.
Collaborating with a team of skilled storytellers, the foundation recorded 30 engaging stories. Diyarouna shared the recorded stories through loudspeakers within the communities. These loudspeakers were installed on buildings or vehicles throughout the area. Once the story recordings were finalized, the foundation organized programs to inform residents in specific areas. This allowed families to gather in the comfort of their homes, ensuring that not only children but all ages could enjoy the enriching and entertaining stories. Everyone could listen without the need to venture outside.
The campaign's impact was significant, particularly amongst children. It successfully reached 25% of the total number of children, amounting to 1,000 children out of 4,000, within a span of just 30 days. The campaign coincided with the holy month of Ramadan in 2020. This achievement highlighted the effectiveness and reach of the storytelling initiative. It provided a valuable source of education and entertainment during a challenging time.
Diyarouna is an independent initiative formed by youth with extensive experience in the social, cultural and media fields since 2010. It aims to empower youth and women, creating inclusive spaces for them to become active leaders in driving social change, particularly in marginalized areas. Diyaruna promotes values such as safety, cooperation and awareness of rights and responsibilities.
New Tactics in Human Rights does not advocate for or endorse specific tactics, policies or issues.
The campaign serves as a valuable example of the good that can happen when community members come together to problem-solve an urgent issue. Leaders of Diyarouna had to stay flexible in adapting to the challenging circumstances of COVID. They collaborated with experts to ensure the stories included were engaging to a diverse audience and promoted cultural preservation. This tactic can inspire future initiatives aimed at educating, entertaining, and connecting communities in times of adversity.