Boosting online presence in the “new normal,” For Freedom.
Indeed, the new normal has brought a lot of changes and uncertainties within our respective communities. Aside from giving up some of our freedoms, we also have to break from our usual routines to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, for the twenty freedom trainers who participated in a two-day online training for trainers on 26-27 May 2020, this is the most opportune time to encourage the youth to be more involved in the political discussions.
“I think there's a growing sense of anxiousness among the youth, because too many things are uncertain, and those allow us to realize the weaknesses in our current system.” said Bianca Lacaba, Kaya Natin Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership Program Officer. She added, “I think it's the perfect time to start building meaningful relationship with the youth and figuring out how we can all contribute to rebuilding society. Many young people are hopeful that things can still change, and we have to capitalize on that.”
To cope with the limitations and delays brought by COVID-19 pandemic, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation – Philippines conducted the E-Training for Freedom Trainers to help various youth organizations in the Philippines jump start their online events keeping it informative yet engaging. The program aims to maximize the power of technology by enabling the Freedom Trainers to continue spreading the liberal advocacies within their communities from the comforts of their homes.
The discussions revolved around the importance of knowing your audience, their agreed realities and the emotions that you want them to feel to encourage them to participate both on social media and online events.
Some practical tips on keeping the audience “present” by understanding how the brain processes communication and maximizing current interactive rules were also discussed.
“I think everyone can relate that this pandemic delayed a lot of on-ground youth activities that we prepared, so it helps to know these innovative tools in order to bring something new the table and engage them online.” Ivan Picazo, Program Director of +iMPACT Leadership, said.
The FNF Thailand team also introduced Sim Democracy and Peacesocracy games using Tabletopia, a virtual sandbox that recreates the physical bits – the game board, the player pawns and the decks of cards – in a 3D space.
“Through this platform, the facilitators and players can still play without close contact making it possible conducting online game sessions and keeping the discussion on the importance of citizens’ participation going during the quarantine,” said Dr. Pimrapaat Dusadeeisaryakul, FNF Thailand Program Manager.
FNF board games are being used by the freedom trainers as one of the tools to heighten the importance active participation on political discourses. However, due to the pandemic, these sessions had to be temporarily postponed.
“Our excellent work for the advancement of freedom should not be stopped by the COVID-19, but rather, we should use this as an opportunity to present our innovative ideas and liberal solutions to overcome the challenges brought bu this pandemic,” said Mr. Wolfgang Heinze, FNF Philippines Head of Country.