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Instagram for a Cause

Social media platforms may be set up to satisfy one’s vanity or to stay connected. Our Bahrain is a campaign that lets you use Instagram as a tool to do good for the community — at no cost.

This local charity initiative, combining photography and social media, aims to raise money for an educational programme that tackles social issues in Bahrain. Our Bahrain, sponsored by Alosra Supermarkets, founded by Elma Bartholomew and Maryam Toorani in partnership with Al Riwaq Art Space is using a medium more known for selfies than charity — Instagram. 

July-2014_Campaign1_02Users who have a knack for taking artistic shots can now lend a helping hand to the community by posting their pictures of Bahrain on the social media platform and ‘hashtag’ing OurBahrain. The campaign, in support of the Be Free Centre, will run for four weeks.

The top 50 photographs will then be chosen and held as an exhibition at the gallery in Adliya on June 25.
“We are using Instagram as our platform because it is a medium that is shared by Bahrain’s youth. Essentially that is what we want to do — integrate the youth into charity. It’s a great way to show that you don’t have to go out of your way to give back,” says Maryam, creative director of Woman This Month magazine. “Al Riwaq Art Space was supportive of the idea from the get-go and our collaboration with them is what has gotten these talented photographers excited to participate in the campaign.”

The Be Free Centre primarily aims to help abused and neglected children. However, the duo chose the organisation because of a new educational programme that the centre has started, which includes a training session with educators at all levels.

“We’re promoting their ‘Instilling Universal Knowledge’ programme. This tries to change the way we educate our children by implementing social issues into everyday classes,” says Elma, editor of Woman This Month magazine.

“For instance, for the younger children, they use art classes. Teachers hold up two drawings for the children, one with just one colour and the other with lots of colours, and ask which one they like more. Children usually say they like the colourful one. The teachers then link that to how Bahrain has a diverse culture, and how it’s our differences that make us beautiful as a nation,” she continues.

You can donate to the campaign by contacting the organisers by email, or visit the gallery from June 25 to purchase the artworks.

Email ourbahrain2014@gmail.com or visit Instagram.com/our_bahrain

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