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“21st century literacy...includes the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognize and use that power, to manipulate and transform digital media, to distribute them pervasively, and to easily adapt them to new forms. The ability to understand this power…is at the heart of this new literacy. An entire generation of digital natives across the globe appears to have receptive facility for this language, a phenomenon which offers us an unprecedented opportunity.”

—Report of the 21st Century Literacy Summit

NGO Workshops

As digital media becomes a primary tool for communication worldwide, Barefoot Workshops builds the capacity of organizations around the world to accelerate progress and program goals in areas such as health (HIV/AIDS), conflict resolution, youth empowerment, civil rights and democracy building.

Barefoot pioneers new formats – or “media templates” – to enhance public awareness campaigns, support citizen journalism initiatives, better reach donors and policymakers, strengthen existing “storytelling networks” and to bridge information to new audiences using the power of low-cost digital technology.


Barefoot Workshops teaches “participatory video” (PV) at the community level. We empower people who are directly affected by the issues, to produce media for their own communities.

We work with marginalized communities, particularly victims of natural disaster, refugees, displaced persons, young people in post-conflict areas, and those working on the front lines of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, to find inspiration and solutions.

We have worked with partners as diverse as the U.S. Department of State, Kakuma Refugee Camp (Kenya), FXB International (Uganda/Rwanda), PLAN USA (Honduras), The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (South Africa), UNESCO (Burundi) and Katrina-affected communities in the southern United States.

What sets Barefoot Workshops apart from other organizations producing participatory media is our multi-sector approach, our commitment to creating broadcast quality content, and our efforts to work regionally to create sustainable programs and community-led networks of support.


Participants in our workshops learn how to independently write, shoot, produce, and edit videos in a variety of formats.

Workshops are full-time, two to four weeks in length, yet can be modified according to the needs of participating organizations. All levels of experience, from beginner through advanced are welcome.

The scope, duration and outcome/s of training, as well as budget, (depending on equipment needs), are determined in partnership with sponsors and/or host organization.


Each workshop focuses on how to produce a different kind of template or media format, in order to reach specific audiences with targeted messages.

Types of “Media Templates” include:

Generally speaking, NGOs identify their needs in one of the following categories:

Barefoot Workshops prepares NGOs to integrate media into their core programs and to use participatory processes to implement training after the workshop is over.

In addition to media training, Barefoot Workshops often arranges screenings and panel discussions, connecting nonprofit and civil society organizations with leaders of Internet, mobile and television broadcasting companies and key stake holders in government, and research-based institutions, in order to create sustainable storytelling networks.


Tuition-based workshops, held throughout the year with the support of sponsors, assist Barefoot Workshops to offset organizational costs. Additional support from Tekserve, in New York City, helps Barefoot Workshops to donate refurbished laptops to NGO participants through our NGO Laptop Initiative.

Some NGO Workshops are “open to the public,” in which case Barefoot Workshops enrolls international filmmakers (mostly from the U.S.) to assist organizations to produce media in the field. These “hybrid” workshops result in full immersion exchanges, and opens the way for international students to learn about important issues like HIV/AIDS firsthand.

To learn more about our NGO workshops, visit our FAQ page or contact

To sponsor a workshop, please contact