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ReFOCUS Media Labs
Real Lives, Real Skills, Real Futures

Our initiative trains young refugees in modern marketable skills such as photography, video production, graphic design, sound engineering and computer programming. 

Tens of thousands of teenage and young adult refugees continue to flee their countries due to conflict, war, persecution or extreme poverty. After spending long years on their way to a safe place, they lose crucial years of education lingering in refugee camps while they wait for their asylum applications to be processed. 

If granted asylum, this loss of education and marketable skills compromises their dreams and aspirations as they are forced to work low-paying jobs to support their families. Our experience in the field shows that teenagers and young adults are in a desperate situation, and ReFOCUS courses help refugees develop marketable skills, control the way their story is told, instill the confidence needed to build better futures and avoid the trap of unstable employment.

For these reasons, we fundraise to bring computers, media creation tools and teachers into camps and community centers to train refugees. Please note that ALL equipment secured through this fundraising will be donated to our field partners to maintain ReFOCUS Media Labs open to the community.

Several refugees with media creation skills that have secured their asylum are giving back. They, along with young filmmakers trained in our Rough Cut programs in Philadelphia, are putting their skills to the ultimate use by serving as Teacher-Artists and leading the workshops current refugees so desperately need. 

A major goal of our training is to help refugees learn these skills by producing original content and then hosting this work in exhibitions open to the public. In addition, we're building a support network of artists and teachers to help promote their work wherever they secure their asylum.

The first ReFOCUS Media Lab is up and running inside the One Happy Family Refugee Community Center on Lesvos, Greece. This tiny island continues to host over 8,000 refugees and more arrive every day. This community center was built with and for refugees, and our time teaching photography here last summer is what inspired us to develop ReFOCUS. 

While financing is needed to purchase computers, cameras and other media creation tools, please get in touch if you're interested in volunteering as a Teaching-Artist or have any media gear that can be utilized in our programming. 

Please consider donating to ReFOCUS because this is about real lives in need of real skills that can help actualize real futures. 

Rough Cut Productions of Culture Trust Greater Philadelphia has 501(c)3 status as a registered charity. All donations from US-based taxpayers are tax-deductible.  

ReFOCUS Media Labs a refugee crisis social media platform and media skills training center, was formed on the Greek island of Lesvos to empower refugees. 

For more information and regular updates on our programming please visit us on social media-
Facebook: @roughcutmedia @OHFLesvos;
Instagram: @refocusmedialabs
and on our site-

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