Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Comics trainers for global education in eastern part of Estonia

Tatiana inking her comic.
Knowledge of the grassroots comics method expands  in Estonia as the cooperation between the Estonian NGO Mondo (www.mondo.org.ee) and World Comics Finland continues. After conducting a workshop in Tallinn in November 2012 we were asked to go to Narva, a town located in the very eastern part of Estonia.

A training of comic trainers (ToT) for global education was held in Narva at the end of January 2013.  The workshop was facilitated by Heidi Leino and Lidia Kivinen from World Comics Finland. In this special workshop, developed together with Finnish Youth Academy (Nuorten Akatemia),  the participants are sensitised to global issues like injustice, world trade, and women's and childrens rights.

In  similar workshops held mainly in Finnish schools, grassroots comics made by activists in Africa have been used as demonstration material. These comics are an excellent tool to illustrate several things:

1) to familiarize the participants with the every-day problems people can have in developing countries.
2) to show that the local people are often very active in finding solutions to their problems
3) to describe how grassroots comics are used as a means of communication in developing countries.

In Narva, the participants at the training were youth workers and students. Their mother tongue was Russian.
The workshop participants in Narva. In front: Lidia Kivinen and Heidi Leino
Comics produced in the workshop were about about drug abuse, corruption, racism and human rights, importance of learning and going to school, and helping the poor. One of the comics advertised the youth center as a far better place to be in than drinking and smoking in the street with "the bad guys".

Druzhba (Friendship)
1. Hello guys!     Go away!
2. But why? According to the international convention of human rights,
all people are equal!!! 
3. Since when? We are people who follow the law! So let’s be friends?

Narva January 28, 2013. Story and Art by Igor

The feedback  from the participants was very positive and we look forward to seeing how the grassroots comics method works with the youngsters in Narva area. The basic grassroots comics manual was translated into Russian and it is now available on our website www.worldcomics.fi
post by Heidi Leino

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