Arctic organization wants youth to tell stories in video
“We really feel that it’s important for youth to speak out about issues"
You think you’re funny? You think you’re clever? You got something to say about your life, good or bad?
The Arctic Children and Youth Foundation, a charitable organization funded mostly by the federal government and also public donations, has launched a video contest that they’re hoping will showcase the views and talents of Arctic youth.
“There’s been a lot of bad news coming out of Nunavut with the suicide rates and so forth and we want to change the focus and have some fun,” said the ACYF’s executive director and program manager, Kylie Aglukark.
The contest is open to youth aged 14 to 24. Contestants are encouraged to make a video that is no longer than five minutes long about issues faced by youth relating to, for example, education, housing, culture and language, mental health and food security.
But it doesn’t have to be serious or heavy, Aglukark said. It can be funny, or cheeky. It can be set to music, like a music video, or it can be a skit made with friends.
Aglukark said she’s hoping the contest encourages youth to think about their lives and identify the issues important to them so that leaders, and the public, can understand Nunavut’s biggest demographic.
“We really feel that it’s important for youth to speak out about issues. And I think more so, when it comes time for policy making and program implementation and that kind of thing,” she said.
“It’s all fine and dandy for us as leaders or people in organizations to say, ‘this is what we think you need.’ But where is it that we listen to what the youth have to say and allow them to say, ‘this is actually what we need.’”
Nunavut has Canada’s youngest population.
According to Statistics Canada numbers from July 2012, nearly one third of Nunavut residents are under age 14.
Those same statistics show that Nunavut has the lowest median age, at 24.7 which means half the territory’s population is below that age. The median age for all of Canada is 40.
Youth who want to enter the contest have until March 1, 2014 to upload their video onto YouTube and then alert the contest organizers that they’ve done so.
The foundation will then post the video to its online forum where friends, family members and other members of the public can view them, post comments and vote for their favourite.
Entries will be chosen from online popularity as well as quality, creativity and content. The top three winners will receive cash prizes.
You can find out more about the contest here.