"Let's Imagine Saida": participation of students in the CDS

Citizenship participation is essential for a good implementation of a CDS. Saida is currently working with Schools to analyze the city and indicate which are the key issues to improve the environment. "Let's Imagine Saida" is one of the activities that follows this objective.

"Let's Imagine Saida" is an activity of USUDS project implemented in Grades 8 of the schools in Saida and its Neighborhood. The aim is to establish a dialogue with grade 8 school children about the city of Saida through visual means. The dialogue is centered on their current perceptions and projected aspirations vis-à-vis the city in which they live. The visual method uses photography as its primary medium as well as collage with found images for the final outcome. The activity is also used as a tool to promote the USUDS project among students of Saida.

The activity was presented and launched in the meeting of Schools' Network in Saida and its Neighborhood that was held on the 7th October 2013, and a training for trainers was conducted on 10th November 2013 to to train the group of youth that conducted the workshops of "Let's Imagine Saida".

Orientation sessions on the project were conducted in 34 schools during the month of October, to explain to the students how to participate in the activity and how to take the images. Students were asked to take pictures of the two locations representing their favorite and least favorite places in Saida in a simple straightforward manner: "What are the two places that you like and dislike the most in Saida?"

18 workshops were conducted with around 400 grade 8 students in 24 schools, during November and December 2013. Students discussed with the trainers about the 345 pictures that were collected as good things from Saida, and the 324 that showed places and things students don't like about Saida. As a result, a collage was done with the images to reflect their perception on the city and what they would like to change in Saida.

The photos are available on Saida USUDS Facebook where students have been uploading the images and have discussed with each others about their perceptions.