Lahore: During mobilization sessions, forms from over 400 students were received who expressed interest in becoming a part of three student societies. After discussion with the faculty members and going through the selection criteria, our team selected 50 students to become a part of three committees i-e Culture, peace, and Radio Society.
These sessions focused on how general and executive members can play their roles effectively to reduce the attraction of youth towards extremism. In these sessions, students were told about SAPs and their usefulness, leadership, self-confidence, cyber social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and conflict management. In total, 50 students (02 groups of 25 participants each) were trained on CVE across 4 training workshops.
Traing sessions held from 3rd August 2021 to 6th August 2021 at the Department of Communication Studies, University of Punjab, Lahore. 25 participants in Group A, including 60% female students.
Day One: 3rd August
Trainer: Shahpara Saleem
President Media Foundation 360 Mr. Mubasher Bukhari and Project Manager Mr. Hasnain Tirmazi briefed the participants about this project and their role in upcoming activities related to CVE and peace-related themes. The participants included students from different departments including Mass Communication, Political Science, Sociology, and Gender Studies.
Ms. Shahpara Saleem, a journalist, and RJ associated with Samaa FM spoke to the students on the effective use of social media to spread messages to the masses. She also spoke about the lack of intolerance on social media platforms. Ms. Shahpara started the session with interactive activities followed by a discussion and a question-answer session. She asked students various questions to gauge their sense of responsibility and their knowledge about social media. During the discussion with them, she made them aware that most of the participants shared news on social media and WhatsApp without fact-checking. She then shared the tools and a set of criteria to fact-check the news before forwarding it to others. She said one of the reasons negativity and hatred is spread in society is due to the fact that people start sharing content that is either fake or is misinterpreted. She encouraged students to use social media with more responsibility.
Day Two: 4th August 2021
Trainer: Jawad Butt
Mr. Jawad Butt, a journalist, documentary maker, and a senior producer held the training session with students on the second day. Mr. Jawad shared the clips of a few famous documentaries that carried the message of peace and solidarity. After showing the clips, Mr Jawad Butt shared his opinion on how this medium had played a primary role in uniting societies over a cause or a movement in the past. He also stressed on the fact that film and documentary is one of the powerful tools to counter violence and extremism. He also held an activity with students where a task was given to students to develop an idea or a theme for a documentary in which a message of tolerance and acceptance can be given to society. The student showed interest in the activity and came up with some wonderful ideas on this theme.
Students were also given a task to shoot 2 to 3-minute-long vlogs with the same theme, a message of peace and tolerance. Many students shot the vlogs during the session and submitted them to the trainer. Students were encouraged to show the same spirit when the committees were formed.
Day three: 5th August 2021
Trainer: Khawar Naeem Hashmi
Mr Khawar Naeem Hashmi, a Pride of Performance winner, a senior print and electronic media journalist held the third session with students. Mr Hashmi shared his memories from childhood and quoted various examples from his neighborhood when people were tolerant towards other religions and sects and always showed respect towards others despite having different faith and views. He also became a source of inspiration for young students when they found out his story of struggle and fight through his journalism career. Mr Hashmi told them about his friends and his own struggles’ during tough times and how they took stand for freedom of speech to speak against radicalization and violence extremism.
Mr Hashmi also encouraged students to learn the difference between right and wrong and then stand by the right and do everything in their capacity to spread the truth. He said as future leaders, it is important that they learn to stand against dishonesty and immorality
Day four: 6th August 2021
Students from Groups A and B were gathered together and were assigned their groups. Project Manager Mr. Hasnain Tirmazi assigned them their respective student society and briefed them about their roles and responsibilities in future activities. A question and answer session was held since students had many questions regarding the project and the upcoming projects.
President of Media Foundation 360, Mr. Mubasher Bukhari held a session with students to further explain to them about the outcome and objectives of upcoming activities. He also welcomed feedback on training sessions and their learning outcomes.
Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Saleem Mazhar was invited to the concluding ceremony. He expressed his appreciation towards students for becoming a part of the activities and for their commitment to spreading the CVE message across the campus. Mr. Mazhar also thanked Media Foundation 360 for initiating this program that trained not only the students but also the faculty members. He also expressed his delight over the fact that both teachers and students will work together and arrange activities to promote peace and harmony. At the end of the ceremony, certificates were distributed among the participants by the Pro Vice-Chancellor.