VIA's General Digital Use in Development

VIA’s Digital use, and Online presence:

We have conducted an Interview with Mr. Nizar Khashaba, head of Multimedia committee for Volunteers in Action, and we have asked him the following questions form which we have concluded some views about the overal social/civic activism of AUC students and the role of the digital within that.

Does VIA have an Online Presence?
The most interesting thing about Via’s digital activity is their online presence, Via has been one of the leading community service clubs on campus without having a Website! Mr.Khashaba said that the website for Via is starting being built this semester only, and should be ready within soon.
Via mainly depends on social networking as a persuasive medium to attract new members, to organize for their events/meetings, and to convey the identity and method of VIA to the community in the best manner.

Does VIA use digital tools, and which are they?
VIA uses the digital to create publications materials, which they print out later, like fliers, roll ups, newsletters monthly. Some of that hard copy materials they post on their online domain, facebook, but the primarily use of that publication products is hard copy of campus.To compliment that, VIA creates their own documentaries; they themselves record and edit them to create publicity materials which they post on their Facebook groups. When asked about the reason for the use of these digital media, Mr .Khashaba said that VIA believes the digital and online media increases publicity, reaches more people, and allows room for more creativity.
The mediums that host the digital activity of VIA is Facebook so far. Publicity materials are published on Facebook as can be seen in this VIA group, http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=115448738490653&ref=ss
The digital produced publicity materials are also used for on ground publication at the campus booths and the like.

How did you come about establishing your online presence and/or digital tools?
An Integral part of VIA’ permanent committees is the MultiMedia committee, the members of the committee are respsonible for maining al sort of digitial media for the different uses to supplement the needs of the different committees of the club that are all concerened with the development of Meet Oqba neighbourhood.

Do you find them effective? Yes they are affective, inner- they enhance the communication within VIA’s own committee and among its members, also they make the communication more enhanced with the outer community, like other AUC and non AUC students since it saves times, easier, faster, emergencies. Reach is greater

If you do have digital tools and/or online ones, do you find them to translate into “real life” activism. (for example, if you have a facebook group announcing an event, how many ppl declare “attending” status vs. the number who really show up, or else…)
Yes, because the media tools we use are familiar to our audience, who are mainly AUC students. When we post an event or a campaign on facebook, usually the number of students who sign up on facebook show up in real life, if not a greater number.

Are digital mediums/tools that your club uses well resourced?
a. in terms of human resources ( i.e. do you have enough well equipped members that work on them for you?
)
Yes, said Mr. Khashaba, each semester there are members recruitment campaign for the multimedia committee. Because there are AUC students who are already active in the Multimedia work of VIA, they volunteer to train new members each semester on how to use the digital software through periodical tutorial workshops.
Through that, we can infer that the digital activity at VIA is not only effective within the given time, but it’s also sustainable. VIA members represent a section of the AUC students who are socially active and interested in the well being of their community, and who do that through digital Aid. It can also be concluded that this digital activity is sustainable and long term since senior multimedia members take on the duty to train their fellow AUC students to carry out the same the same path.

Is VIA digital use well resourced for in terms of financial resources ( i.e. are they expensive? Do you have a budget for them? Are they a priority for you when you have financial difficulties?)
Mr. Khashaba said that they primarily use free designing software, and that they mainly depend on donors to print all their publications, like volunteer print shops and the like.

What are some challenges you face regarding your digital work, or online presence?
Mr. Khashaba finds that It’s challenging to be creative and attractive, even if u are creature, new idea ideas especially that there are other clubs they are competing with in the field that also use digital media

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