Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Finnish Foundation for Media and Development: Activity Update May 2015

VIKES joins the project
The Finnish Foundation for Media and Development (VIKES) has been participating in a number of Media4Development activities during the first quarter of 2015, starting from the first joint project meeting in Estonia in January and hiring a part-time coordinator to take care of the VIKES activities of the project from February onwards.

The work with planning the joint study trips begins, and VIKES organizes the first training in Finland
VIKES has been busy with planning the first joint study trip for eight journalists to a developing country in 2015. Yet, planning the programme and finding the right trainers for the April training took most of our time in the first quarter of 2015. All the hard work paid off, since we put together an amazing programme with skilled, inspiring and awarded speakers from Finland and UK! Read more about the first training in Finland in the previous update below.

Participating in the TV-producers meeting in Estonia
VIKES provided input and participated in the TV-producers meeting in Tallinn in March 2015, organized by the ERR. Experienced documentarist and journalist Maria Seppälä from the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) presented her experiences about filming in developing countries and working with NGOs as a journalist.

Maria was one of the few documentarists in the meeting that had first-hand experience about planning for these types of productions, and her inputs were valued both by the participants and the organizers.  One of Maria’s last films tells the story of the Liberian Sam Reayah and his journey from the refugee camp in Ghana to his family in United States. See the film’s trailer here.

International events in Riga
VIKES took part in the World Press Freedom Day in Riga, Latvia 3-4 May 2015. Next year, UNESCO’s main event will take place in Helsinki, Finland. VIKES is already planning activities in the margins of the meeting  together with the Finnish journalistic community and other media organizations. The 2016 Media4Development project activities in Finland will be also planned with this major international event in mind.

The visit to Riga also provided the opportunity to meet with Green Liberty to discuss and plan the Riga Roundtable on Financing for Sustainable Development in 11-12 June 2015. Together with other partners, VIKES has helped with development of the agenda and concept note of the event.

VIKES is happy to bring Member of Finnish Parliament Pekka Haavisto to the Riga Roundtable as one of the key-note speakers.

Haavisto has twice served as the Minister for Development of Finland. Last time in 2013-2014, he was also the minister in charge of the state-ownership issues. Haavisto’s international career also includes various peace mediation tasks in the EU and the UN. For example, he was appointed as Foreign Minister’s Special Representative for African Crises in 2014. Before this, he has worked as the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) in Sudan and Darfur (2005-2007), and as a Special Advisor for the UN (ASG) in Darfur peace process (2007). He has also led several missions to conflict areas as the Chairman of UNEP’s post-conflict work in 1999-2005. Haavisto will surely have some important thoughts and exciting new ideas to to share with his colleagues in Riga in June!

Communication on EYD2015 and other activities
VIKES has been communicating about the project and the European Year for Development (EYD2015) to its own stakeholders in Finnish, using its own communication channels (web page, Facebook and Twitter).  For example, VIKES has designed and launched separate pages about the project in Finnish and in English on its website.

The VIKES activities on EYD2015 also include close cooperation and regular meetings with the Finnish NGDO Platform to the EU (Kehys) that is coordinating the EYD2015 activities in Finland in cooperation with the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

VIKES also informed the European Commission Representation in Finland about the Media4Development project. The Acting Head of Representation Sari Artjoki even took part in the training in Finland in April (see more in the blog post below).

Besides planning the first year’s activities and taking a second look at the project budget, VIKES has also been assisting the other partners and individual journalists in planning their own trips to developing countries, providing practical advice and putting the journalists in contact with our local partners.

Also, take a look at our updates in Twitter using hastags #M4Dproject and #EYD2015.

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