TwoFour54 Abu Dhabi’s inaugural Winter Camp which took place from 15 to 19 December, is the latest youth initiative from the media hub aimed at helping young people to learn key media skills from the best in the business.
The programme was launched in 2019 to introduce more children aged 9-12 to the media industry across the course of one week, giving them the opportunity to explore one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UAE.
Developing young talent is one of TwoFour54’s top priorities as it continues to sustainably grow the creative industries in Abu Dhabi, and hands-on learning opportunities for youth are an integral part of this mission.
Through a series of interactive sessions across multiple media-related disciplines, such as storytelling, animation, coding, media law, innovation, photography, poetry, pitching and public speaking, children can start developing the skills and interest needed for a career in media. Sessions also cover the business aspect of media, with kids developing their very own media business plans.
H.E. Maryam Eid AlMheiri, vice-chair of TwoFour54, said: “The youth camps are a vital part of our strategic investment to create learning opportunities for media talent from a very young age, ensuring that we have skilled media voices who can represent the nation on the international stage.
“The success of these initiatives has been fascinating; they are not only nurturing but also empowering distinguished young talent to jumpstart their careers in media. We are proud to see many of our graduates behind and in front of the camera, producing engaging content that entertains, informs and inspires.”
Since the annual Summer Camp was launched in 2016, more than 130 children have had the opportunity to discover the excitement of working in media, with previous summer campers going on to launch careers in acting, voice acting and TV presenting with companies such as Bidaya Media and Majid TV.
Following the success of the TwoFour54 Summer Camp, which has been running for the past four years, Winter Camp is set to build on the ever-growing success and demand for media talent development.
TwoFour54 ’s youth initiatives have provided numerous opportunities for previous Summer Campers to kickstart their career in media, such as Mahra AlNaqbi, Shaikha Al Mahmoud and Meera Al Khatib, who are all now presenters on Majid TV.
Meera Al Khatib said: “I took part in TwoFour54’s Summer Camp, where I was introduced to Majid TV. They met the other students and I and taught us all about recording and filming. We then went through a round of auditions, where they tested our skills and presence in front of the camera. I was so happy they then chose me, and I feel very excited to be on Majid TV.”
The interactive sessions are run by a mix of TwoFour54 staff and partners such as Alef Education, as well as government entities, including the Department of Culture and Tourism.
As part of its mission to ensure the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi’s media industry, TwoFour54 has established numerous other youth initiatives, such as creative lab and its internships programme.
They are also involved in local youth initiatives such as the Zayed University Middle East Film Festival and the Arab Youth Center’s Young Arab Media Leaders Program.
The camps are open to children of all nationalities, aged between 9 and 12 who live in the UAE.