Unlocking hidden potential

Students expressing themselves through their designs.

JRS Singapore has been blessed with big-hearted supporters and tireless volunteers. Crisleen, JRS E3 programme lead highlights two workshops which were made possible because of such acts of generosity.

When JRS secured a 1-year Adobe Software sponsorship, a group of refugee students were given the opportunity to attend an Adobe Workshop specially tailored to boost their digital marketing competency. The students were given access to the suite of Adobe software and each was given a Creative Cloud account, enabling them to apply and practise fundamental design skills. This Adobe workshop was well received by the students who found it crucial to their learning and helped them to boost their personal portfolios. Shahrin*, a 20-year-old refugee student from Afghanistan was an enthusiastic participant and he shared his feedback with the team,

“I have always wished to learn how to use Adobe software as it is so relevant in the marketplace. Thank you, JRS, for giving us this amazing opportunity, and especially to the Trainers, for your patience! The sessions were intense but simple enough for beginners (like me!) to follow” ~ Shahrin

Some of the refugee students had also expressed a keen interest in video editing, and this inspired the LEAP@JRS team to organize a pilot video production workshop for selected students. The team was blessed with an introduction to Mr Jason Joseph. Based in Australia, Jason is a seasoned professional in the media industry and has a wealth of experience in teaching Digital Marketing and Video production. He was truly godsent to the group of students.

With a passion to share his time and talent, and a heart to engage with vulnerable communities, Jason conducted workshops on 3 Saturday mornings in March and April. Students were progressively given assignments between classes and the workshops culminated in the production of individual video clips of their own. It was a hands-on learning experience for the students and Jason proved to be a popular mentor.

“It is rare to come across video editing workshops and undergo such training for individuals in my community. Storytelling has always been my passion, and while I have had video editing experience, I have learned so much from Mr. Jason. I pray for more opportunities like this in the future!” ~ Michael* (29 years old, from Pakistan, living in Thailand)

As a testimony to the success of the workshop, JRS screened a video clip entirely produced by one of the students at the World Refugee Day mass for JRS volunteers on 2 July. The video clip was met with very positive feedback and many were impressed by the depth of emotion it conveyed.

JRS is truly grateful to Jason for conducting these online workshops despite his busy schedule. He also took the challenge of connecting with his students in different locations and time zones in his stride. With the positive feedback from the refugee students who attended the course, JRS intends to organize more of such workshops.

We leave the last words to Jason, who shared his thoughts with the JRS team.

“I had a great time teaching the class, and it felt really rewarding... It may have been challenging for some beginner-level students to catch up, especially over Zoom, where I can’t get a sense of their level of understanding or they may have held back in asking questions. Overall, it was a great experience.” ~ Jason

*Not their real names to ensure confidentiality.

JRS is always on the lookout for volunteers who are willing to share their talents and expertise. If you have IT, digital or professional skills and are keen to engage with our refugee students and provide learning opportunities, please contact us at [email protected]