Saturday 24 June 2017
About
Friday 14 April 2017

Shahrvand-Yar is a Non-profit, Non-governmental institution which was registered on December 28 of 2010 in Frcance. The institution’s primary focus is on Iran. By raising awareness through modern methods, and creating simplified, brief, and interesting content in the fields of civil society, democracy, and Human Rights, and also by organizing workshops and educational campaigns, Shahrvand-Yar tries to pave the way for achieving a stable democracy in Iran and to become the voice of civil society within the country. Shahrvand-Yar’s fundamental goals are to encourage and empower the demanding attitude, civic participation, raising awareness about the rights of citizens and democratic values, and trying to make the state more responsible.

Our Agenda Iran, as a country with diverse cultures, languages, and ethnicities, there are great capacities for pursuing a society that is principled, non-violent, and committed to global human rights values. However, due to deeply rooted patriarchy, old tyranny, and religious traditions on one side ad everyday propaganda from the regime’s media on the other, Iranian masses lack the sufficient education to achieve their ideals and goals. For example, there are no possibilities of organizing seminars, educational workshops, movie making, or any other activity that would advocate concepts such as pluralism, human rights, freedom of political and commercial affiliation, free elections, religious and cultural freedom, alternative lifestyles, tolerance, gender equality, volunteer work, respecting the LGBTQ community, and battling racism. Even the Iranian media abroad such as satellite channels and news websites, which are not bound by the regime’s laws, at first rose to raise awareness and to overcome these obstacles, but most of them are not willing to accept a role in supporting civic and human rights activism.

Therefore, most of the news about civic activism, human rights violations, and civil society institutions gets lost among the bigger news and is not sufficiently covered. Shahrvand-Yar’s commitment Shahrvand-Yar educational and advocacy institute was founded to fill these voids through creating attractive multi-media, translating material, training videos, organizing workshops, and advocacy campaigns. Unlike other media, not only we believe in our duty to raise awareness, but we advocate and support volunteer, human rights, and civic activism. Our main tools in reaching our goals are creating educational videos, documentaries, short films, animations, translation of movies and beneficial material, making power point presentations, educational posters, and educational multimedia in general. Our advantage to other media and institutions, is that by creating short multimedia for people who have less time or capability to benefit from longer programs and classes online, we create content which makes them regularly question, discuss, review, and rethink.

The educational products and advocacy short films produced by Shahrvand-Yar jas been published, broadcasted, or distributed through the institute’s almost one million active social network members, our website, YouTube channel, and several Persian speaking satellite TV channels.

Our main goals and policies Shahrvand-Yar’s main goals and policies in creating educational and informative content in areas of human and civil rights are based on these principles:

• To encourage an reinforce the sense of civic responsibility and participation among citizens through reflecting and demonstrating the volunteer activism and campaigns

• Raise public awareness about the globally accepted rights of citizens and democratic values through comparison and introduction • Giving a louder voice to civil society activists in the media and encouraging the citizens to similar acts

• Making efforts towards making the state more responsible and encourage the demanding attitude among the citizens

• Supporting the civic and human rights activists through publishing their news and issues related to them

• Teaching campaign building and group acts through introduction of domestic and abroad campaigns

• Creating a space for discussion and conversation about issues of social, political, cultural, human rights, and civic nature

• Teaching and raising awareness about the principles of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and covering news about human rights violations

• Empowering Iranian citizens to overcome the censorship obstacles

• Teaching and training advocacy methods of achieving local and national goals

• Fighting religious, cultural, ethnic, and especially gender bigotry Our Services With the recent popularity of social networks among Iranians – over 20 million people – Shahrvand-Yar has an especial focus on this audience group, and is producing beneficial yet attractive educational content for them.

These products are provided regularly, in various methods, and relevant to the daily social and cultural news or issues in order to have deep and long-term effect on the audience. “Shahrvand-Yar’s Educational Workshop” social network on facebook: This page with over 355 thousand members is one of the most popular social networks on Facebook today with strong name recognition in Iran. According to many civic activists, there are not many Iranians left who have access to social networks but are not familiar with Shahrvand-Yar. With an average of over three million weekly reach, Shahrvand-Yar has been able to play an important role in shaping a portion of public opinion regarding various civic, political, and human rights issues. In this public page the news, articles, and educational content in multimedia formats, are provided in brief and precise form, with a creative and unique method. In this page Shahrvand-Yar’s educational goals are merged with the political, social, cultural, and even sports and popular news of the day.

Sometimes in the middle of the brief content for those who do not have the attention span for long contents, a challenging question is raised. We also try to engage and attract more audience by using inspirational posters, interesting titles, and utilizing graphic design. Introducing Patogh Shadi (Happy Zone), an unofficial Shahrvand-Yar social network In Patogh Shadi, a page with over 580 thousand members, we target those citizens who shy away from any political, social, or human rights issue. This page is for those who are unfamiliar with English language and daily events, and due to the illegality of public displays of happiness including music and dancing, they seek refuge in the virtual world to experience moments of joy.

In this social network, we work on similar goals, but using a subliminal and popular method, through jokes, satires, entertainment, and lifestyle. In fact the audience do not realize that they are being taught, since the educational strategies of the page are provided through entertaining and funny technics. Shahrvand-Yar uses various different methods to connect with its audience. For example, our especial educational products collectively have over one million views in Shahrvand-yar channel in You Tube. Shahrvand-Yar website, with 25 thousands visits monthly, is another method for informing the audience and providing them with content. Furthermore, the produced content which are shared via Shahrvand-Yar’s Telegram and Instagram channels, reach a large audience inside Iran.

The popularity and effectiveness of Shahrvand-Yar’s media tools have caused many civic and human rights activists, ordinary people often from remote parts of Iran, and campaign members from Inside and outside the country to ask us for assistance in introduction, documentation, and keeping records of their social and political activism. They send us numerous reports and images regarding their activities and what goes on in their towns. Among them are evironmental, labor, and animal rights activists, underground and street music bands, and even directors of civic and human rights projects and institutions outside the country. Shahrvand-Yar’s especial educational products have been voluntarily broadcasted and reran many times by the satellite TV channels which has created more discussion and conversation regarding human, social, and civil rights in Iran. The founders and managers of Shahrvand-Yar have participated in production and development of these programs.

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