Results tagged “Global Fund For Children”

Designing for a Cause: First Annual Adobe Certified Associate World Championship

Courtesy of Certiport via Flickr

Courtesy of Certiport via Flickr

What if you could participate in a competition that not only allowed you to let your creativity and talent shine, but also let you support a good cause and change the lives of children in need?  This year, Adobe and Certiport hosted the first annual Adobe Certified Associate World Championship, a worldwide contest for students, aged 13-22, that allowed just that.

Throughout the course of the competition, over 30,000 individuals entered and twenty-one finalists from fourteen countries were selected. The finalists were awarded a year’s free subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud, as well as an all-expenses paid trip to Washington DC where the winners were announced.

To determine the world champion, the twenty-one finalists competed head-to-head in a real-world design challenge in the style of Project Runway or Top Chef.  Adobe invited the Global Fund for Children (GFC) to serve as the “client” for the design challenge. GFC is an internationally-recognized non-profit organization that works to support the rights of children around the world. This fall, GFC will launch a marketing campaign to support The International Day of the Girl; GFC challenged the twenty-one finalists to create an engaging and impactful poster that would help drive fundraising to support this important cause.

The finalists had eight hours to work in Adobe Photoshop to create a meaningful poster. The final work was judged by a panel of industry experts, including a professor at the School of the Visual Arts in New York City, a designer at internationally-recognized agency Design Army and a representative from GFC. Judging categories included creativity, technical use of Adobe Photoshop, and ability to meet the client’s needs.

The wide array of stunning posters produced showcased the different creative lenses and skills brought by the diverse group of contestants. Because of the high quality of the work, the judges struggled to identify only three top winners. The winning students from Korea, Colombia and Taiwan were awarded prize packages and scholarship dollars to support their postsecondary plans.

On behalf of Adobe, I want to congratulate the winners and applaud all the contestants! There are lots of ways to show you care. How do you apply your creative talent to supporting causes that matter in your community?

Saturday School In Soweto

Essentials: Saturday School In Soweto

Story Contributed by Monica Grover, Global Fund For Children.

“The school is a haven for them,” said Jose Bright, the executive director of Teboho Trust, a small nonprofit organization in Soweto, South Africa, that provides personal empowerment and social development workshops, in addition to educational support, to approximately 400 orphaned and underserved youth.

When I visited the Saturday School last week, I could see how much fun the young people were having. There were multiple programs taking place when I arrived at Teboho Trust that day. Lunch was being served to some of the youngest children, while the slightly older children played soccer in the fields surrounding the school. Everyone had on yellow or orange T-shirts representing Teboho Trust.

The older youth, in grades 8 through 12, were just entering class after finishing lunch, and as they settled into their seats, I saw that there were close to 100 young people in the classroom. Initially, Jose, who is administering the Adobe Youth Voices program, had said that Teboho Trust could train 30 youth to participate in the program, but that number grew to more than three times the original estimate. It was encouraging to see the enthusiasm for this project.

The Adobe Youth Voices class was becoming intertwined with the life skills course, and the two subjects integrated seamlessly. Jose believes that participation in Adobe Youth Voices will help the young people involved to “speak out on psychological and social issues and to develop a dialogue with other teens in different parts of the world whereby they can learn from one another.”

“Many of the youth want to have a better life and are working hard to realize their dreams,” he added. “Many lack positive and empowering environments other than Teboho Trust to help them stay motivated and follow their dreams.”

Jose strives to ensure that the young people Teboho Trust serves are competitive in the 21st century and are empowered with the computer and technology skills to be at the forefront of new media developments. “I’m expecting to see digital stories and documentary videos covering our history as an organization and stories in our communities: the folk stories, the stories of our grannies—I don’t want them to die with that. I want their voices to be heard. I want their voices to be heard because I’ve realized that their voices are empowering themselves, healing themselves, and they are going to touch other lives,” said Jose.

Jose feels that Adobe Youth Voices is a project that will change Teboho Trust by empowering the organization’s young people, its programs, and its community.

Compelled To Make A Difference

Essentials: Compelled To Make A Difference

Contributed by Monica Grover, Global Fund For Children

What can you do with your life experiences? The painful ones, the hardships or loss? How can you make things better, for yourself and for others in the same circumstance? You can share your story – like Tini, a young woman from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, who lost her parents to AIDS.

“I think my dad and mom were like many other people with AIDS,” says Tini, “deserving to be cared for, assisted, and in particular respected by everyone in the community.” She reflects that, unfortunately, they were “isolated, and considered as rubbish… They were normal citizens like others but living with AIDS disease. However, they did not do anything harmful at all. Normally, if some people with the disease do something dangerous to others, they feel world-weary. I understand that feeling because I am among the stigma’s victims.”

Growing up an orphan and estranged from neighbors, Tini “gave up all my faith in life.” Eventually, she found compassion, hope, and friends through the Smile Group, an organization that provides support to youth affected by HIV/AIDS. The Smile Group participates in Adobe Youth Voices, giving Tini the opportunity to work with Photoshop and film-making software, and to transpose her experiences into media she can show others. Tini was raised by her grandmother, who lives for her and takes joy in her success. With the knowledge and technical skills she has gained, she made a video about her life entitled “My Grandma.” In melancholy tones, this video lays bare their struggles together as well as the many reasons for hope.

It meant the world to Tini to be able to capture these reasons for hope and share them with people who would take heart. It helped restore her. As she explains, “thanks to the supports, loves and good cares from some social groups, I could stand up and continue living with my trust and optimism in my life. I never hate my parents as they gave birth, bringing me into this world. So I love them deeply for their mistakes that have made them go far away.”

To “create with purpose” is the mission of Adobe Youth Voices. In her corner of the world, pursuing her goals to educate the community and change people’s conceptions of those affected by AIDS, Tini embodies this mission. “I want to do something simple so that people in my community would have a different objective look to AIDS people,” she explains, so that “hopefully children in the same suffering and sorrowful situation like me could live positive and optimistically.”

Monica Grover Heads Off To New Adventures

Today we wish a fond farewell to Monica Grover, who concludes four fantastic years as the Manager of Digital Media Projects with Global Fund For Children. It has been a great experience working with Monica, and we’ve been inspired by her passion for reaching out to young people in the world’s highest needs communities and supporting their empowerment through creative expression.

Monica Grover

Check out this video taken by Monica last July, of an Adobe Youth Voices student in Kingston, Jamaica. In this video, a youth leader speaks about the importance of having the “right” shot when filming, learning from the other young people involved in the program, working collaboratively with peers, and taking pride in showcasing participants’ final media work to members of the community during The HOLY (Healthy Ones Lifestyle Youth) Network’s Adobe Youth Voices exhibition event on Saturday, July 23, 2011.

Youth Development In The Ger District Of Ulaanbaatar

This spring, Monica Grover traveled to Mongolia to visit a youth development program in the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar which is jointly supported by Adobe Youth Voices & The Global Fund For Children. The program, located in the city’s Ger District, is home to a community of families that have recently arrived in the nation’s capital after fleeing declining living conditions in Mongolia’s countryside.

A ger is a traditional portable tent that is used by many families who have taken up residence in this district. Families come to the city in search of jobs and better living conditions, but the challenges they face in the district’s “tent city” include a lack of adequate infrastructure (many families live without running water or electricity) as well as a struggle to obtain the documentation needed to secure legitimate employment in the city or to send their children to school.

The Adobe Youth Voices program in Ulaanbaatar provides a resource for young people living in the Ger District who would not otherwise have access to education and professional training.

Girls In Ulaanbaatar

Monica tells the story of Michidma, “an especially outstanding student” in the Adobe Youth Voices program in Ulaanbaatar:

“Her family has been touched by alcoholism, domestic violence, sexual abuse, and poverty, and she has overcome many difficulties. She was working in the market for a time and dropped out of school to help her family. Now, she is in her third year of college and is studying to become a journalist.”

Michidma, who is very involved with the Adobe Youth Voices program, has applied herself to developing journalism skills that include interviewing her subjects and telling her subjects’ stories with sympathy and sensitivity. She has also devoted herself to learning English. Her mentors report that through her participation in the program, Michidma is becoming a true leader in her community.

To read more about Michidma’s story and the Adobe Youth Voices partnership with The Global Fund For Children in Ulaanbaatar, we invite you to read Monica Grover’s original account of her visit.

Young Women of Mahita Are Raising Their Voices

Monica Grover, who heads up the Global Fund For Children’s partnership program with Adobe Youth Voices, had the chance to visit Mahita, a grantee partner site in Hyderabad, India earlier this year.

Mahita’s mission is to develop storytelling and video production skills among the young women in Hyderabad’s economically disadvantaged communities, and has been teaching community education classes with great success for three years.

Mahita Girls & Monica Grover

Many of Mahita’s students face a range of challenging circumstances, including disapproval among family members and bullying on the way to their community learning center. In spite of these challenges, the students at Mahita have forged ahead with their education with courage and determination to make their voices heard.

“These girls and young women have experienced tremendous growth and development over the course of their involvement with the video storytelling program,” says Monica, who has visited the students of Mahita several times over the last three years.

Watch a video from Monica’s first visit to Mahita in 2009, and click through to read Monica’s full account of her visit to Mahita this year, on the Global Fund For Children website.

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