From June to September 2018 The Kamalayan Konsciousness Kollective ran the Youth Midya Project, a media training program for youth from Philippine descent that sough to empower emerging artists with the skills to create new and original radio and television content. This project was in the context of Filipino history and current events, both in the Canadian diaspora and their relationship to the Philippines. Participants engaged in meaningful workshops that concluded with writing, planning, and executing original episodes independently at the end of the program. The Youth Midya Project prioritized newcomer and under-resourced Filipino youth for this training, who otherwise would face barriers accessing this type of programming.
The Kamalayan team mentioned to us where the idea for the program originated from, “It’s been awhile since the Kamalayan collective has been actively pursuing bigger projects. At the same time, members and folks new to the network of the Kamalayan Kollective continuously supports Radyo Migrante and the newly launched TV Migrante (a Toronto-based weekly news and talk show about Filipino issues) while doing their own advocacy and activist work. We heard about ArtReach from one of our new members and thought we would check out what the organization offers and realized that this is something we wanted to try out. So the initial idea was to design a program that would introduce more youth to Filipino news media programs in Toronto. The City has decades’ worth of history in progressive Filipino broadcasting and print media that is often not known to many, especially to newcomer Filipino youth”.
Youth have responded really well to program, Kamalayan shared that, “There was a lot of interest and inquiries on the details of what this project entails. Filipino youth who were already engaged in media and content-making online through social media apps were interested to learn what a Filipino program of this kind can offer to them. They were particularly interested in post-production and other behind-the-scenes details of working in radio and TV. For those who applied and met up with us for interviews, they were excited in the workshop on Philippine history. We called this ‘Philippine History and Personal Migration workshop’, which resonated with many youths because it is hard to find a Filipino history workshop that bridges roots of Filipino migration to Canada and the life of Filipinos here in Canada”.
With youth responding so positively and with more folks reaching out about the program, Kamalayan has high hopes for the program in the future, “I believe the program has a lot of potential, just going back from lessons learned, seeing what worked, and which parts needed to be adjusted and improved. I believe the program can really grow, taking in more participants and having it run longer as a program that supports our media partners. This, I believe, can help Filipino youth in realizing the possibilities for career opportunities as well finding their own voice in how they can positively impact society through community engagement”.
ArtReach was the only funder for this program, and with a grant from ArtReach, “It has allowed us to be able to spread the word about the importance of progressive ethnic media in Toronto. We thought our plan for the project was ambitious, especially as it’s the first grant we applied for. Having access to the resources ArtReach offers allowed us to make our ideas come to life. Our goal was to engage more young people in the Filipino community and show them that youth can be in the forefront of community awareness through the media, through content creation. ArtReach allowed us to do this and we hope to grow from our initial program to reach more youth in future projects” Kamalayan shared.
When we asked Kamalayan how this project has supported their own individual skills as a leader, the team told us, “It was a big step for me in taking the initiative of getting people together and working on a plan, something to which I have done before but in a smaller scale. I found that throughout the duration of the project I was challenged in finding the balance of making sure to keep on track of what is currently happening as well as how this will affect the future workshop or the project in the end. In addition, I have grown in setting up as an example to the youth I work and the other people we work with and making sure that I provide the necessary materials and information for them to succeed”.
To see more of the great work from this program, make sure to check out their Instagram page @kamalayanmedia!