On October 17, 2017, Miras-Moldova opened its doors for its inaugural Journalism Club and Mentoring Program.
The main goals of the Journalism Club are to increase youth participation in Gagauz communities as well as interest in social issues and culture in Gagauzia. Youth will also develop creative thinking and professional skills transferrable to other careers and contexts, learn how to communicate with different types of people and to make critical decisions. The program’s coordinators will focus on promoting gender equality through innovative training and mentoring.
Eight students from Comrat’s Lyceum Gaidarji and School Number One will spend the next five months learning photography, filming, video editing and writing skills. Miras-Moldova Project Coordinator Anna Celak and Peace Corps Volunteer Haley Bader will provide trainings and teambuilding activities.
Three students from the Journalism Department at Comrat State University will share their knowledge and experience as mentors for the Club participants. They will lead expeditions to local Gagauz villages, where students will interview residents for personal reporting projects.
The club will culminate in a group exhibition at the Comrat Art Gallery.
At the first club meeting, students participated in icebreakers, learned basic journalism theory and explored the “Who, What, Where, When and Why” of reporting.
Mira staff later led an energizer activity on one of Comrat’s final autumn days.
Peace Corps Volunteers Daniel Gottfried and Rayshawn Payton-Kilgore also surprised the students with a spontaneous skit – Danny waltzed into the office unannounced and Ray followed, looking for a cellphone. Their ensuing tussle ultimately ended in Danny’s “murder.” Coordinator Anna then asked students to cover the event and write their very first articles.
In the coming months, a professional photographer from Italy will organize a photography master class, partners from Gagauz TV will teach master classes on filming and video editing, and a local journalist and assisting Peace Corps Volunteer will explain the basics of journalistic writing.
Watch Anna Celak and Haley Bader explain the program on Gagauz TV channel “ГРТ”: