Sunday 13 October 2013

Nahr el-Bared Palestinians protest with cartoons outside UNRWA, Beirut

“UNRWA Director!  Bring back the UNRWA Emergency Program for NBC”!
signed: Families of the Nahr el-Bared camp
On 18-20 September, 150 Palestinian refugees from Nahr el-Bared camp (NBC), North Lebanon, staged a sit-in and erected tents in front of the Lebanon Field Office, Beirut. They protested against the cuts in UNRWA Emergency Program for NBC.

The whole NBC was destroyed in 2007 in the fighting of Lebanese army and Fatah al Islam fighters. Over 30 000 camp residents escaped. The reconstruction of the camp is slow. Most of the displaced refugees are still waiting their return to NBC in temporary shelters around the construction site or in other camps. In this precarious situation they cannot accept the cuts of the Emergency plan of UNRWA. They need education for their children, social work, healthcare, decent housing and cultural services like all families in the world.

World Comics Finland organized with Psychologists for Social Responsibility (FiPSR) in 2005 and 2007 training courses for the young activists of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland supported the training. The working tool of grassroots comics for campaigns was very well received amongst the young activists.

Posted by Sirkku Kivistö
Coordinator of Lebanon projects

“No entrance for people from Nahr el-Bared Camp”
The sit-in demonstration outside UNRWA, Beirut.

 (All photographs by Sirkku Kivistö)

Wednesday 9 October 2013

African working children and youth (AMWCY) pass on their skills in making comics

I happened to come across a  very nice comic in the web describing a grassroots comics training workshop, organised by the African Movement of Working Children and Youth (AMWCY) in Bamako, Mali.

Alhassane Diarra of AMWCY’s branch in Segou, Mali, had made the comic which vividly captures the positive atmosphere of the workshop.

AMWCY has a website  with sections in French, English and Portuguese. The following links include comics: (in English).

(Posted by Leif Packalen)

Title: Comics training in  Bamako. First panel:  The participants introduce themselves. Second panel: A drawing exercise in making expressions. Third panel: In three days  all participants have finished their comics. Last panel: The certificates are given out and one of the the participants says that they will teach other AMWCY members how to make comics. 

Thursday 3 October 2013

René Claude from Burundi visited Helsinki

René Claude Niyonkuru visiting the Finnish Comics Society.  Johanna Rojola and
 Leif Packalen were both trainers in the 2010 ToT  workshop in Ngozi, Burundi.

René Claude Niyonkuru from L’Association pour la Paix et les Droits de l’Homme (APDH)  in Burundi attended a human rights seminar in Helsinki in September and showed us some new grassroots comics. These very vivid and accomplished comics are used in village meetings in Northern Burundi in APDH's activities aimed at community awareness. Samples of the comics are shown below.

During René Claude's brief visit we also had discussions on how to continue our cooperation project in Burundi. APDH would like us to train more comics trainers as the grassroots comics idea has been received with a lot of enthusiasm in their network. Finding funding for such training and its related activities is the problem. Development cooperation funding is going down, and big and established NGOs seem to take an increasing share of available money. 

Summary: A couple beats up a thief after catching him red-handed. Neighbours intervene to calm down the situation. Later, the village council orders the couple to pay for medical care of the thief and they also risk serious penalties. When going home they deeply regret beating up the thief. Comic by Rebecca Citegetse of ADPH, Muremera.

A teacher rapes a student and makes her pregnant. He tries to cover up with money. Eventually the police is involved and the teacher is brought to justice and punished. Comic made by M. Didace of APDH, Gashinkawa.
An employer mistreats his servant badly. The servant decides to go to the village council to complain. The council discusses the matter with the employer and reminds him of employment laws. He promises to correct his behaviour. Comic by Nduwayezy Godefroid of APDH.