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.
'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.