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Digital Storytelling and the “First Five” in Tajikistan

A few months ago, Itgelmaa Chavgaa met with Jode Brexa and Zeboniso Murodova to learn about their education-based work in Tajikistan during the Covid-19 pandemic. This time, we reconnected with Jode and Zeboniso along with three incredible young women, Munisa Nazarova, Mahina Fayzuloeva, and Sabohat Abdulloeva. Along with two other students, these young women recently graduated from the ACCESS Program and shared their valuable experiences as the “First Five” ACCESS participants. Through their coursework in ACCESS, these students learned English and created digital stories about themselves (to which we have provided web links below).

First Five Digital Storytelling Project Graduation

Due to the global pandemic, many organizations in Tajikistan closed their doors and shut down their businesses. However, with the advancement and accessibility of technology and the internet, Jode Brexa and Zeboniso Murodova are making it possible for students to take English language lessons through their cellphones and the internet.

The First Five Hybrid Digital Storytelling Project began with a handful of young women brainstorming about their personal narratives. Initially, the program planned to support gender empowerment by bringing digital storytelling to fifteen young women. Due to Covid-19 and the need for social distancing, five young women were selected initially for the hybrid pilot. Once they had decided on their narrative, the girls started working on initial drafts that they recorded and sent to Zebo via the WhatsApp social media platform for editing.