Tell Me a Story: Video Messages to Challenge and Undermine Violent Extremist Ideologies

Inspiring visuals. Scripts with impact. Cohesive video messages that provide alternative and counter narratives against violent extremist ideologies.”
These words sum up remarks by US Ambassador to Djibouti H. E. Larry André when he joined participants during a gallery presentation of three short videos produced by teams represented from the youth, civil society and media organizations in the area of preventing and countering violent extremism.
The objective of the gallery was to showcase short videos produced by 19 participants from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda, developed at a 3-day advanced training in strategic communications. The training was hosted by the IGAD Center of Excellence for Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE), with support from the Global Engagement Center of the US State Department from 30th April to 2nd May in Djibouti.
“I admire your spirit of service in using your skills to create messages to encourage people, especially the youth, to choose positive paths to avoid violent extremism ideologies. Terrorism is a global plague and the most effective responses are those designed locally. You are all playing a part in addressing this plague,” he said.
The participants appreciated the interactive sessions used at the training, and committed to using the acquired skills after the training to design and share more videos with alternative and counter narratives against extremist ideologies for their context. “We will take these skills to the communities where it matters the most,” said Ismail Biro from Tanzania Bora Initiative. His comments were echoed by Woubakal Tesfaye from Together! Ethiopia Residents Association who said, “This training could not have come at a better time for us. I wondered if we would be able to produce three videos in three days, but we did it! We have learnt ways to produce good videos with clear messages, and on a moderate budget.”.

L to R: Jihan, Ismail and Carine working on their video “Be the Light” during the workshop

In line with the training objectives and the Center’s strategic objectives, over the course of three days, participants learnt the video production process – audience selection, message development, scripting, storyboard development, basic filming, voice-over production and editing. The result is three short videos:
Stop Recruitment
It’s Hope To You
Be The Light

ICEPCVE works to bring together state and non-state actors involved in preventing and countering violent extremism to develop and implement coherent strategies to build resilience against violent extremism in the Horn and Eastern Africa. This involves harnessing the grassroots knowledge of local communities and involving them as active participants.