“IDEA CA has the power to strengthen Central Asian youth and develop civil society in the region,” shared Manuchekhr Ruziyev, a participant from one of IDEA CA’s workshops.
Manuchekhr Ruziyev, who attended a media camp in 2016, is 25-years-old and from Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. The media camp brought together dozens of young people from across Central Asia to teach them media skills such as blog and report writing and other social media skills.
“My two weeks at the media camp gave me more skills and knowledge than my three years of journalism classes at the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University. The quality of media camp was very high. No matter how tired we were, we would look forward to waking up early morning every day to attend the camp,” Manuchekhr said.
Manuchekhr stressed that IDEA CA’s media camp was a turning point in the lives of the young people who participated in it.
“A lot of young people who attended the media camp changed. They became more active - they are involved in interesting projects, including civil society activism. The media camp gave a sense of direction to those who did not know how to realize themselves in life and how to express their ideas. It pushed them into deciding what they wanted to do with their lives. We established a network among ourselves and we often get together in different parts of the world,” Manuchekhr said. He stressed the importance of IDEA CA workshops Tajikistan in particular, saying that there are gradual changes in his country thanks to such initiatives.
Manuchekhr added that the skills he acquired during the media camp have been extremely useful and have helped him in his career. Manuchekhr currently works as a photographer and the production director at a firm that he recently established with friends. He makes videos and photos for customers and wants to improve as a documentary filmmaker in the future.
IDEA CA launched its first media camp in 2011. So far, it has organized seven media camps, all held in Kyrgyzstan and involving young people from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. IDEA CA uses a wide range of tools such as extracurricular activity clubs focused on debate, drama, and media, debate academies and tournaments, and training of trainers sessions to develop critical thinking among youth and the increase their civic awareness.