Canon unveils Young People Programme in Jordan to empower youth

Canon, the world’s leading imaging brand, has partnered with Everyday Refugees to announce the launch of the Canon Young People Programme in Jordan at a press conference under the patronage of H.E. Ms. Haifa Al-Najjar, the Minister of Culture of Jordan on Tuesday 16 August 2022 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Amman Jordan; and with the collaboration of Princess Alia Foundation and Jordan Tourism Board.

Canon unveils Young People Programme in Jordan to empower youthThe programme kick starts in partnership with Everyday Refugees & will be led by Canon Ambassador Muhammed Muheisen, a two-time Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist and a global Ambassador for Jordan Tourism Board; with the main emphasis to Inspire, Educate and Empower local youth, giving them a voice to create a better and more sustainable future by introducing them to the power of creative visual storytelling and critical thinking, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

This event will be followed by six months of workshops in Za’atari refugee camp starting mid-September with our existing YPP partner Lens on Life. 20 students will be provided with Canon EOS 4000D cameras, followed by educational workshops, certificates on completion, and an exhibition of their creative work.

Attending the press conference were HRH Princess Sana Asem and HE Harry Verweij the Ambassador of The Netherlands in Jordan, as well as representatives from Canon Middle East, Everyday Refugees Foundation, Princess Alia Foundation, Jordan Tourism Board and UNHCR among other attendees and high calibre media representation.

H.E the Minister of Culture, Haifa Al-Najjar praised the initiative, stressing the importance of the program and its positive impact on the culture of young Jordanians of both genders, pointing out that the art of photography is part of the cultural industries that the Ministry of Culture is concerned with, as it plays a part in the visual blogging that chronicles the image and aesthetics of a place, events, and social changes.

She said, “In addition to the fact that photography represents a passion for young people to learn, it is also a means for free expression that contributes to strengthening the relationship of young people with the place and allowing them to visually express a historical narrative in parallel to what is written in history; it also provides young people with the opportunity to learn a life skill. For that we value such initiatives offered by the private sector, which have an important role in training and empowering our youth in line with sustainable cultural industries, and we welcome such collaborations that create new spaces for our young children in various cultural and artistic fields.”

During the event Mr. Venkatasubramanian (Subbu) Hariharan, Managing Director, Canon Middle East and Turkey highlighted Canon’s focus on sustainability through this programme saying “We are proud to present the Canon Young People Programme, which will support the next generation with the power of creative visual storytelling, aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and encouraging young people to communicate, voice and highlight the great challenges facing the planet.

30 students, 15 Jordanians and 15 refugees, ages 12-18, with gender diversity and balance, who are passionate about photography, were selected to participate in this program. This includes a two-day theoretical masterclass held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel; where Mr. Muheisen will cover an introduction about Canon and its role in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as well as a technical training on actual cameras and how to capture powerful storytelling images, followed by field trips planned over three days.

During the field trips, part of the students will get the chance to visit Al-Ma’wa for Nature and Wildlife in Jerash on the first day to experience first-hand how to capture stories that matter with the guidance of a world-class master, in visual storytelling such as Muhammed Muheisen. Mr. Muheisen will then visit the refugee camps during the remaining two days of the programme to continue the field practice with his remaining students.

Once the field practices are completed, the 30 students will get the chance to apply their learnings on their own as Canon will be providing them with the required tools along with loaned cameras that they can use during this period; and come September their achievements will be celebrated during a follow-up session that shall be announced in the near future.