communication partner of wwf

New partnership with IUCN and WWF

Makmende is proud to announce our new and shiny partnership with IUCN and WWF.

The prospect of this collaboration is very exciting! We aim to open up a dialogue about best practices to protect ecosystems around the world. Not a minor topic, we would say…
The bottleneck seems to be collaboration between business, government and civil society organizations.
Meanwhile, the scale of the problem desperately calls for joint solutions.
So, what works?
What strategies are most successful to forge collaborations and how can we learn from each other’s experiences?

Makmende is going on a trip around the world to find out. And don’t worry, we won’t be burning airmiles. No need, we have our people on the ground. Together with local journalists and filmcrews we’ll gather experiences from Benin, Philippines, Paraguay and the Netherlands.

No polished one-liners or incredible success stories, but perspectives from real people, dealing with the messiness of reality on the ground. Asking them, what works, really? We’ll then publish these perspectives through blogs, interviews, statements and videos and ask an audience of specialists what they think. Again, asking: “what works for you?”

Instead of using our content to dish up simple solutions, we hope to create a discussion between peers.
Because when it comes to the challenges facing our ecosystems today, we’re on uncharted territory. There’s no easy answers. We believe that an organization striving to protect nature can best position itself at the center of a constructive discussion, to then find the best way forward. We congratulate IUCN and WWF on taking the lead and opening up this dialogue and are thankful for the opportunity to contribute.

Spotlight on our network: from political activist to creator of stories

Spotlight on our Network: from political activist to creator of stories

Batoul is our local producer in Jordan. During one of our recent projects for Care, we had the opportunity to meet with her and talk about her experiences as a woman in the industry.
This is her story.

I was born and raised in Amman, Jordan, but my parents have Palestinian and Lebanese origins, so I’m never considered 100% Jordanian, rather Palestinian/Jordanian. My parents are very liberal compared to their family and friends. I was privileged enough to study abroad for quite some years even though the community questioned my parents for it. My international upbringing is not very typical for Jordanian women, but things are changing. A growing number of women, especially the younger generations, are studying abroad and then returning to Jordan. Just like me.
I graduated in 2013 and came back to Jordan during the Arab Spring. I really wanted to be part of the changes that were happening in the region.

I never thought that I would actually begin a career in film. I was very involved in the political scene. I have always been an activist. My desire to be part of the international conversation of politics was very intense. So I majored in political science but I was also fascinated by film and storytelling. I ended up doing both and luckily my parents were very supportive.

After graduating in Chicago I applied for jobs in the Middle East, specifically in Jordan and I got a job in communications at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). I would write stories and produce documentary pieces about Syrian refugees in Jordan, as well as other related items.

For me this was an incredible experience, because I got to be involved with human rights worldwide, and tell stories at the same time. It was an opportunity to learn about the people on the ground, while also learning the craft of storytelling.

“For me this was an incredible experience, because I got to be involved with human rights worldwide but also tell stories at the same time.”

I found that the refugee camps are a space where men feel emasculated. In this new country the refugee men are not allowed to work. They stay inside these small trailers where they rely on humanitarian support from organizations. The only people who could provide for their families were women who would volunteer for international organizations and make some money. Now the women were the breadwinners, they were taking care of the whole family!

When I walked into these households to create stories, women were the ones with powerful voices. They would accept me and so I was able to create very personal stories. I think my male colleagues found it more difficult to be welcomed intimately into these households.

“Still, I often find myself in a situation where I’m working with men and they underestimated me. They didn’t expect me to be so professional and fierce.”

As I started working in the field more independently I realised there is no big infrastructure for filmmakers here on Jordan. We’re a very small group, the’re maybe five or six major production companies in the country. While there are many female  employees in the industry, I still often find myself in a situation where I’m working with men who underestimated me. They don’t expect me to be so professional and fierce. Equal pay is another issue, because even if we enter a project as equal collaborators, men will negotiate unfair shares like 70-30.

On the other hand I think after the Arab springs there has been a tremendous growth in female voices and many platforms that support and empower women. Nowadays it’s easier to get support from other women around us, because this community is growing!

I see our field as a field of creation. For me it’s creating life! I see a producer as someone that creates. He/she is the womb for life.

For the development of my career I have a lot of questions which I am exploring right now. About love, spiritually, life, the human condition. I want to make mindful content, content that allows people to experience life through another perspective and explore the questions we may all have.

3 tips: how to distinguish your communication about gender

How to make your communication about gender stand out?

Gender equality and diversity are hot topics. So how can you distinguish yourself when communicating about your work on the issue? We share with you three tips we at MAKMENDE find helpful when communicating about this topic. And of course we give examples of how we translate these tips into concrete communication assets.

TIP 1: Don’t talk about women, talk to women

It may be an open door, but this is a classic mistake many NGOs and brands still make. They show their involvement with a theme, but forget to give a voice to the people they talk about. Dare to start a direct conversation with the women participating in your program, and challenge the viewer by addressing him or her directly.

 Let’s have a conversation with Uwe, The Hard Headed Business Woman (created for BoP innovation Center)

TIP 2: Use humor (even if the subject is serious)

For charities, humor is not the most obvious tactic, with the majority using emotional and sometimes unsettling advertisements to convey urgency.

However, when it comes to serious or difficult issues such as gender equality, a little humor can also be very effective, attracting public attention and encouraging online engagement

With this campaign for Microbanker, we generated 40,000 euros and a million views in no time.

TIP 3: “Knock women off the pedestal!” 😉

Many impact organizations portray women as heroes in their communication campaigns. They are often depicted as super entrepreneurs, leaders or fearless warriors. While women often rightfully deserve such titles 🙂 , it is no longer original to use this in your communication. We believe it is much more effective to see the real women and get to know them. That is powerful enough in itself!

For a campaign for Mamacash we let young women speak about sexuality. 

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