Deaf youth breaking barriers through film

July 15, 2019

By Akbar  Restu  Fauzi, Youth Movement Coordinator, Perkumpulan Pamflet Generasi  and Kayla Lapiz, Linking, Learning and Communications Officer, Voice Philippines and Indonesia


The wonderful journey goes on with Pamflet, an Empowerment grantee from Voice in Indonesia, as they continue to creatively break barriers for the deaf youth community!

Pamflet is a youth-led organisation that strengthens youth’s participation in social movements and local youth initiatives. Their project “This is Our Story”, in collaboration with Gerkatin Kepemudaan and Sedap Films, centered on enhancing the storytelling capacity of deaf youth to amplify their experiences and issues of inclusivity. It served as a platform for collaborative learning processes that continue to develop deaf youth capacities in creating media content that help them engage meaningfully in campaign and advocacy activities.

They were able to train the participating youth in video blog production as well as the management of a website and social media accounts. Further, they were able to produce a short film entitled “Toko Musik” and leading a public discussion about creating a more inclusive environment by bringing in the deaf perspective to non-deaf people.

With the positive results of their project and the identification of a more specific need of the deaf youth community, Pamflet and Voice continued to work together for a second phase. This is Our Story 2 focuses on improving opportunities for deaf young people to work by strengthening their capacity about their rights at work, encouraging the commitment of the government, and raising awareness on the issue of deaf people in relation to employment.

According to Pamflet:

“This project brought us a variety of new experiences, especially the opportunity to collaborate with many parties, such as the KOPTUL (KOPI TULI – Deaf Coffee) whose story we adopted in the film “Rumah Siput”, the International Labor Organisation as our partner in designing the workshop curriculum on “Deaf Rights at Work” Workshop, the British Council through a joint art event “Festival Bebas Batas”, and with the Asia Foundation in carrying out a discussion entitled “Minggu Bersama Difabel” (Sunday with People with Disability) to talk about disability rights at work.”

Overall, This is Our Story allows Pamflet to engage in and further its collaborations with several institutions as they continue the campaign on disability rights. They also shared their significant learnings along the way:

“We have learnt that it is essential to produce vlogs in sign language during workshops, especially to translate the learning materials. This way, deaf young people who cannot be able to attend the workshops can access these materials via social media. We also realised that a subtle approach to deliver disability issues through film is an effective way to induce people’s constructive thoughts and to encourage discussion on disability rights. A lot of institutions, however, still needs to be encouraged to take on initiatives related to disability issues. We observed that they are still reluctant and they find their ability to engage in this initiative to be lacking.”

This project is indeed a reflection of Voice’s goal to #LeaveNoOneBehind and further the rights holder groups’ call of #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs! To add to the project’s impact, Voice is also happy to share that the film “Rumah Siput” is one of the nominees for the 2019 Viddsee Juree Indonesia and is also included in the Juree Audience Choice Award category! May their journey inspire people not only to screen their films but to engage in discussions and learn more about their initiative.

You can watch the film with English subtitles here.


Voice is an innovative grant facility that aims to reach the most marginalized and discriminated groups in societies with shrinking civic spaces. It is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and is being implemented by Hivos and Oxfam Novib in ten lower to lower-middle income countries in Africa and Asia. Reaching the furthest behind first, it offers different grant types that make it accessible to smaller or informal groups.

Indonesia is one of the member countries and has 34 grantees at the moment. Voice, now on its third year, continue to gather and amplify the stories thus far unheard.


“This article was originally published on Voice website. Click here to view the original article”