The Middle East has a very young population: almost 70% of the population are under the age of 30, and around 30% are under 15. In North Africa, poverty and warfare have rendered many children vulnerable and isolated, and young adults are often unemployed and increasingly frustrated. In contrast, many young people in the Gulf are materially very rich, but are both physically isolated and emotionally and spiritually poverty-stricken.
MEM encourages young people to question their society and become a voice for the voiceless, to challenge the injustices that have been traditionally accepted and generate debate around taboo issues. We have created a wide range of TV shows for children, from 3D animations about equality to a comic-book style animated Bible series, to teach them about their rights and show them how much God loves them. Furthermore, the media training children and young people receive from MEM not only gives them a constructive outlet for their thoughts and struggles, but also gives them vital employable skills to enable them to find work in the media sector.
Youth media training (North Africa)
We train young people (age 7-17) and youth workers in the Middle East to develop creative ways of communicating the things they feel passionate about. Our filmmaking training equips young people to communicate their thoughts, beliefs and ideas in a constructive and creative way through modern media and gives young people the practical skills to find employment. With a long waiting list, our aim is to give priority to some of the region’s most underprivileged children, including young people with disabilities.
MC Connect (The Gulf)
We offer after school clubs for children in the Gulf the chance to learn film production skills, work as a team and develop social skills. The goal of this is to create ongoing connections, mentorships and relationships with local young people. This is a continuation of a successful five year project with kids from ages 10 to 18 and has been requested by schools and sponsors to be repeated. It includes 90 hours of advanced production time with those groups that are creative, talented and desiring to progress.
Children's TV series
Life in the Desert
Life in the Desert is our new 3D animated series for children aged 5-9, to help them deal with loss and fear and encourage them through the examples of real Biblical heroes. Many children in the Middle East, particularly those in conflict zones, are dealing with trauma, fear, loss and grief. This series will provide comfort, support and reassurance to children, as well as equipping them to deal with the difficult challenges they face. The series follows the story of a young girl called Farah. After her mother dies, she goes to live with her father and starts to find comfort, hope and transformation through the stories of the Bible.
Children of the Middle East are often discouraged from questioning, and are taught to simply accept and obey the teaching that is passed down to them. Tamer's Questions will encourage children to ask their questions about God and find out answers for themselves. This series will comprise 15 3-minute episodes for children aged 6-10.
The Action Bible
We are thrilled that our North Africa team has been given the rights to animate the Action Bible, a comic book-style Bible telling God's story through beautiful, hand-drawn illustrations by Marvel & DC Comics artist Sergio Cariello. We are going to produce 66 Bible stories as short, motion-graphic style animations, to be broadcast online and on Christian satellite TV.
MEM has a team of young people developing new, relevant material for other young people in the region. We also have a huge back-catalogue of content – many of our original TV productions are still broadcast around the region on national and satellite TV stations. More recent projects, covering taboo issues such as human trafficking, HIV/AIDS and the rape of street children, are still highly relevant and need exposure in the Middle East. We are making our back catalogue available on our first ever online TV channel.