Wednesday, August 20, 2008

YETAM Day 3: Forming Working Groups

We started off like we do every morning, with about 30 minutes of games and singing. The kids are used to leading songs because many of them belong to churches where they sing a lot. Then we reviewed the drawings kids did at home as homework from Chaka. We pulled out all the topics that they had drawn as potential areas to go deeper in over the next couple of weeks. Amina did a drama activity with them where they did a silent act about one of the stories or issues that had come up in the morning. Photo: kids starting off the day with songs.

Then we broke them into groups as we’d said. There were 22 for video, 10 for theater and only 2 for art. So we decided each technical area would look at the different kids who wanted to be in art vs. video and make a decision about where they would be best placed. Everyone will still get a 1st or 2nd choice. Chaka ran them through some more art activities before lunch. There was a lot of music and dancing today as the training center became “Radio Gatsibo” with Bernard as a DJ and Chaka as the MC, playing lots of music between and during activities. This made the workshop atmosphere much more relaxed and fun.

During lunch we watched several of the professional music videos that Bernard had made, and they were really impressive! He has his own production company, and he can’t be more than 24. I told him and the other video guys about AURA (Artists Unies pour le Rap Africaine) which is supported by Plan in W. Africa to see how they work and potentially collaborate. They said that they work on both music and video productions and are trying to start a network of film makers, music people in the region, especially the Great Lakes region since they are all involved in the same conflicts and there is a lot of migration to and from these countries.

After lunch the main activity was the youth debate. The kids decided the topic: should there be a law requiring birth control. Olivier had taken some 5 kids out to make a first practice video. They called me out during the debate to interview me. It was a little difficult because they basically wanted to know if Plan would be doing any other training for them that was more relevant to them so that they could make money. So that was a little hard to answer since it will be up to Plan Rwanda to do something with the information that they gather from this training. So I couldn’t give the kids a straight answer…except that what Plan wanted was to know more about the needs/issues of children so that they could help…. And hopefully that will happen, but the nature of the current project is more of discovery, not resolution... yet.

Our debrief included:

--Just asking the kids what they think is the simplest way to figure things out.

--The team work is really to be appreciated as we are being very supportive of each other.

--At the break the number of kids who are not participating but who wander in and out is increasing. There is not enough food feed them all, and some become rude and disruptive during the training time so we have had to send them away. There needs to be some kind of stronger policy on how this will be managed.

--We need to revisit the groups tomorrow to be sure everyone is OK with the group they are in. One solution is to revise the next week and find a way for them to participate in different groups during the week so that they would not be unhappy but would still have enough time to do something of quality with enough depth in their original group.

--After the workshop I caught up on some emails with Jacques’ wireless network card. I need to get one of those! Not much except that we have all our funding for the Social Media workshop and people are beginning to discuss more on how to put the agenda together.

--Regarding the YETAM website, we are still waiting for input on selecting the partner/company to build the website. I hope we get on this quickly so that the actual web site building can begin. It’s been complicated trying to ensure that it meets all the goals and integrates with all the other sites we want to have a seamless link with…. Julie’s working on moving that forward these couple of weeks that I’m out.

Before dinner Olivier and Bernard set up a little cinema area in the place at the hotel where we normally eat and were watching a movie about Bob Marley. Then we watched a film that Olivier made about Rastafarians in Rwanda. The technical teams met and will brief us at breakfast on the forthcoming agenda.

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