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UNDP's 'Aikya' premieres four short films on migrant workers

Ahmed Aiham
23 December 2019, MVT 11:42
Participants and cast of the four films alongside senior officials of the government and representatives of UNDP at the private premiere of the 'Aikya' programme. PHOTO: UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME
Ahmed Aiham
23 December 2019, MVT 11:42

United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), on Sunday, publicly premiered the four short films created through the 'Aikya' film-making programme, at Seahouse Cafe in capital city Male'.

Aimed at empowering young people towards exploring social issues through the medium of film and cinematography, 'Aikya' was thematically chosen to assist in bridging the social rifts between Maldivians and the large migrant community of Maldives.

Under the theme of 'Migrant Lives', the four short films 'Emmen', 'Eh'dhuvas', 'Ekai' and 'Ummeedhu' focused on a set of subthemes, including the factors that entice migrant workers to seek employment in Maldives, the prejudice and forms of discrimination faced by these migrants, and how society can build a more cohesive community.

The posters of the films are seen in this invitation to the film's first public screening at The Seahouse Cafe. PHOTO: UNDP

Emmen

The short film 'Emmen' revolved around the life of an expatriate worker, providing a harrowing account of how he was exploited and the hardships he constantly face to provide for his family. VIDEO: EMMEN / AIKYA / UNDP

Eh'dhuvas

The film explores the day to day dealings of an expatriate worker tasked with delivering food for a cafe, depicting various forms of discrimination and workplace exploitation. VIDEO: EH'DHUVAS / AIKYA / UNDP

Ekai

'Ekai' depicts the life of two expatriate workers, exploring discrimination in a domestic work environment and often fatal consequences of the construction industry. PHOTO: EKAI / AIKYA / UNDP

Ummeedhu

Revolving around a theme of 'Hope', the film advocates for equal treatment of migrant workers. Scenes depicted young individuals conductings acts of random kindness towards expatriates. VIDEO: UMMEEDHU / AIKYA / UNDP

'Aikya' is loosely translated to 'unity' in the Bengali language. Bangladeshi expatriates are the majority migrant population in the country.

“Migrant workers are, for many and obvious reasons, the backbone of our industries. Their contribution is invaluable in our journey towards sustainable development. They are an integral part of our society, yet they are segmented and marginalized within our communities”, noted UNDP Resident Representative Akiko Fujii.

“At UNDP, we strongly believe that youth can be agents of change in their own communities. When dedicated young people address social issues with innovative approaches, such as this film-making programme itself, it is quite possible to bring positive change".

Conducted through the UNDP Integrated Governance Programme (IGP) and supported by the Japanese government, the programme consists of several technical components and a film-making component where participants are mentored by industry experts.

UNDP will conduct various public screenings before releasing the films on its social media platforms.

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