Community Roots: World Vision Guatemala

The Community Roots Project sought to train at-risk youth in Guatemala on issues of communication and leadership. Through a series of workshops, youth shared key messages on violence prevention and irregular migration through communications materials.
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With the Community Roots Project (PRC), Rana Labs conducted a Barrier Analysis on preventing violence in all its forms and preventing irregular migration to the United States.


We organized 120 collaborative focus group discussions with over 1,320 participants. Our team visited over 20 communities in the departments of Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, and Chiquimula, working with children, youth, adolescents, adults, and parents who voiced their opinions on the prevention of violence and irregular migration.


After we collected focus group stage results, we embarked on the project’s second phase: video production workshops to train new content creators in using accessible tools to share their stories with the world.



Through this workshop, Rana Labs promoted using mobile technology – such as smartphones, Bluetooth microphones, tripods, and stabilizers – to share stories and knowledge. Workshop participants created videos with key messages on the prevention of irregular migration through the lens of personal, familial, and community relationships. The Rana Labs team later edited the videos. 


The most commonly highlighted theme at the workshop was the importance of taking care of local communities. Key messages chosen for the prevention of irregular migration through community engagement were: 


  • I am my community
  • My community, my future
  • The joy of living in…
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As part of an intervention strategy for youths during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rana organized this remote workshop through WhatsApp groups. Through these groups, the Rana Labs team carried out different activities to provide communication tools to young people regarding video recordings and the proper use of social networks. The workshop aimed to reinforce knowledge and maintain a presence in the communities served by the Community Roots project.


14 WhatsApp groups were established in total, one for each project intervention community. Specific topics touched on included video and sound recording tips, editing best practices, and safety on social networks.



While access to social networks is critical for modern-day communications, it is critical for users to understand the potential positive and negative impacts they may have on others. With this in mind, the “community spokespersons” workshop focused on building identities through personal storytelling. Rana Labs sought to generate personal stories in which the participants organized their thoughts and translated them effectively on camera with both interview clips and B-roll footage. The workshop encouraged the use of communications tools such as YouTube to tell compelling and personal stories. The workshop also provided important information on digital security. Participants left the workshop with proper knowledge on how to develop content and ideas safely and create profiles for themselves as content creators.

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The implementation of online and face-to-face workshops was carried out, in which frame-by-frame animation with the “Stop Motion” animation technique is explored to create videos with stories created by themselves, which can be used in different social media.


Through 3 initial sessions in an online format (through the ZOOM platform), with a minimum participation of 24 young people per community with an average of 48 participants. In these sessions, a critical sense of reality was integrated through reflection, training young people on the main axes of the project, and basic theory and practice on the implementation of the Stop Motion animation technique were introduced.



Subsequently, in an in-person workshop, the young people were trained in video and sound techniques, including photo-by-photo animation, using Android phones. The young participants created narrative videos in this workshop with a positive message for their community.



Rana Labs together with USAID’s Community Roots Project, World Vision and RTI, developed the Digital Spokespersons training program, with the objective of training young leaders from the departments of San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Huehuetenango and Chiquimula in radio communication and community journalism, providing all the tools to be spokespersons for their communities through advocacy messages for the prevention of violence and irregular migration.

An online methodology with a participatory approach was developed for the implementation of the content, with the intervention of communication specialists in forums, interviews, collaborative podcasts and workshops. During a year of training, the young people learned about cyberactivism, digital platforms, community media, journalism, voice-over and documentary photography, covering all the important areas of communication to create their own content through social networks, with cross-cutting themes such as gender, inclusion and relevance. gender, inclusion and cultural relevance.

In addition, they received sound production equipment for the elaboration of radio materials in radio and television formats. radio materials in radio and podcast formats, as well as audiovisual materials for different platforms due to their previous for different platforms due to their previous knowledge of workshops received by Rana Labs in video production Labs in video production, editing and Stop Motion animation. At the end of their training the spokesmen and spokeswomen were certified as professional broadcasters.

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