RFI Clubs supporting young people in Chad

RFI Clubs supporting young people in Chad

Chad has not escaped the scourge of misinformation and the spread of misleading information is polluting public debate and undermining social cohesion in the country. Launched in June 2022, the Desinfox Chad project aims to improve the skills of media outlets and young people to fight information manipulation, in particular through RFI Clubs, which are the only part of the project aimed at civil society.

A successful experience today: there has been a widespread desire for the media education programme offered by the Clubs among young people in Chad over the past two years.

Civil society committed to fighting misinformation

The increased speed at which information now flows, together with the increased presence of young people on social media, is creating a significant need for adapted learning methods.

In addition to its action aimed at media outlets, the Desinfox Chad project has also taken on the challenge of strengthening the digital citizenship of young members of the RFI Clubs in N’Djamena and Abéché by alerting them to the circulation of misleading information. Designed and created in partnership with WenakLabs, a technology hub located in N’Djamena, the learning method is intended to be practical and favours direct application, while taking into account the resources available to young people.

Eighteen workshops were organised for 40 young people from N’Djamena and Abéché, in partnership with theFrench Embassy in Chad, with the following main objectives:
• For attendees to understand how professions in the area of information and how dissemination platforms function;
• For attendees to learn how to verify information and then deconstruct false information using fact-checking tools;
• To strengthen attendees’ editorial and technical skills for producing digital content;
• For attendees to be more conscious in their use of social media and protect their personal data;
• To foster the conditions for the creation of a vigilant digital community.

Atelier « Désinfox » à Abéché © Club RFI d’Abéché
Desinfox workshop in Abéché © Abéché RFI Club

Switching from passive media consumption to active media consumption

During the workshops, the trainers focused in particular on the techniques of filming and editing video on smartphones, a method that makes it possible not only to instantly shed light on the different ways of perceiving reality but also, and especially, to develop the critical thinking abilities of young people. While helping to equip young people with the knowledge needed to differentiate between accurate and misleading information, these workshops also gave them the chance to set themselves up on social networks and in neighbourhood or family WhatsApp groups, using a logical approach to link information together. The participants who benefited from these training sessions thus acquired knowledge and skills that have a real impact on society.

As these workshops progressed, campaigns were eventually conducted by RFI Club members to raise awareness among children attending six colleges and high schools located around N’Djamena and Abéché.

Some podcasts were made as part of the workshops:
- Rosaline Nekarmbaye’s podcast on the subject of “How to integrate social networks into Chadian education";
- Fatimatou Ousmane’s podcast on the subject of “Misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine in Chad".

Les membres du club RFI de N'Djaména, le 16 janvier 2023, sur la terrasse de WenakLabs © Club RFI N'Djaména
Members of the N’Djaména RFI Club, 16 January 2023, on the terrace at WenakLabs © N’Djaména RFI Club

Spotlight on the RFI clubs: a contribution to the fight against misinformation in favour of citizen engagement and social cohesion

As representatives of African youth, who are as close as possible to the realities on the ground, the RFI Clubs are spontaneous groups of listeners gathered together for the most part based on a shared will to act in favour of the common well-being. In line with the editorial values defended by RFI, each Club carries out specific activities according to the background, desires, knowledge and expertise of Club members, who are also committed to meeting identified needs, sometimes even in emergency situations. The most active among them are rightly defined as the humanitarian wing of RFI. The activities of the RFI Clubs naturally revolve around the fields of education, sport, health, access to culture, media, environmental conservation and humanitarian action.
For further information, please visit: www.rfi.fr/fr/les-clubs-rfi/

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