WHERE WE WORK
We aim to serve all people living in the 25 countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Whilst these countries vary culturally and politically, the main social issues facing them are similar: lack of high-quality education from pre-primary to higher education, persistent youth unemployment, human rights violations and gender inequality.
WHAT WE DO
We are focused on the production and broadcast of television programming that helps equip our viewers with the knowledge and skills they need to maximise their human potential.
Using a Media for Development approach, we offer people new ways of learning, with a greater focus on audio/visual rather than the written word. We aim to help them to develop critical thinking and transferable skills. Our programming is focused on three pillars: education, health, and social development with the following strategic objectives:
- To ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by complementing the formal and non-formal educational efforts made by governments and NGOs, especially among refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).
- To promote healthy lifestyle and well-being for all ages. For refugees and IDPs the specific objective will be to increase their self-resilience and help them cope better with their changed environments and circumstances.
- To promote social development through equality and full citizenship rights to all ethnic and confessional groups within society.
HOW WE MANAGE OUR PROJECTS
We make use of a Projects Management Methodology, using a project cycle with five basic components:
- Identification – identifying the need for a project by collecting and analysing information, researching and exploring the context the needs, as well as existing resources and other initiatives for intervention.
- Design and/or redesign – The scope of work, and appropriate strategies, are determined to address identified issues. Considering the beneficiaries’ needs, rights and priorities, the design process begins, and available resources are allocated. Project milestones, expected results, and completion dates are set.
- Delivery – The execution of the various tasks and delivery of project to beneficiaries.
- Monitoring – Information is routinely collected to make sure that resources have been used correctly, tasks have been executed, and delivery of project has occurred. Monitoring supports accountability and tracks performance so as not to defer from original design of project and desired outcome.
- Evaluation – Assessment of what is working and what is not working in the programs and project, as well as what challenges are emerging. If changes need to be made to the project, or aspects of it, then the cycle begins again by identifying and assessing needs and redesigning.
Going to school without learning is a lost opportunity. According to the UNDP, evidence demonstrates that school systems in the Arab world are generally of low productivity and quality. Basic skills are not being learned, a fact most clearly captured by international standardized tests, whose results reveal that the region is still below the expected level. In many places, particularly rural areas, schools are overcrowded and underequipped, teachers lack training and children leave school with low levels of literacy and numeracy. Recent UIS statistics show that the Middle East and North Africa has one of the highest rates of children and adolescents not learning enough to meet the minimum proficiency levels in reading during primary school. Adding to the already low education outcomes for children in the MENA region is the threat and disruption of violence and conflict.
Good health is the foundation of successful education outcomes and productive engagement in society. The MENA region is currently facing a number of health threats including, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the “triple burden of malnutrition—the coexistence of food insecurity, undernutrition, and overweight and obesity”. The conflicts of the region have also increased the number of reported cases of diseases resulting from poor health care and poverty, such as a vast cholera epidemic in Yemen and a polio outbreak in Syria, both of which are likely to lead to the suffering of lifelong effects.
Mental health is equally important as physical health to quality of life and wellbeing. The conflicts in the MENA region mean that millions are displaced, social safety nets are broken, and families torn apart.
As the people of the region suffer from multiple health issues and social issues, some have turned to harmful substances when there appears to be no hope. Iran in particular, but other MENA countries as well, suffer from high rates of drug addiction.
Societies prosper when people can solve conflicts without violence, think constructively and critically, and where all members of society, including women and children, are protected and valued. Many decisions by governments in the region during past decades have resulted in the breakdown of social fabric and marginalization of large segments of the population. In the wake of the Arab Spring, the demands for greater government accountability and more responsive public service delivery echoed across the MENA region. The concern is that without the tools to effectively engage their societies in a peaceful manner, marginalized populations such as youth and refugees could become a source of protracted social instability, threatening human security in all its dimensions.