Friday, July 24, 2009

Hands on, hands on, hands on

We started the YETAM training with the youth on Tuesday morning, after an official launch. The mayor of Okola attended as well as some of the Plan staff from the Country Office in Yaounde.

Since the youth had already had training via Plan and IRONDEL on the Rights of the Child, and some had worked with Plan’s Kids Waves radio show, they were really well equipped for moving onto video and arts work. They started with their community map where they had detailed, along with the community organization members, everything in their community.

The youth presented the map and everyone worked in groups to organize and flesh out the information from the map in 4 categories: community history, community description, community resources, and the situation of child rights and protection. Photo: youth presenting the map.

They wrote their ideas on note cards which were posted on flipcharts and then sorted to come up with final categories. These formed the basis for all the upcoming work. Photos: flipcharts with the different topics for filming and arts work.

After the map work, we went into introductions to the different things that we'd be doing: photography, film and drawing/painting. We had a bit of a struggle within the team getting facilitators to move from too much theory onto practical work. They kept going back to presentations and lots of long flipcharts and technical descriptions. Photo: The arts group re-drew a nicer version of the community map later in the week.

We realized later in the week that we didn’t all have the same understanding of the project methodology. Some thought that we were doing 1 week of theory, and 1 week of practice, and then afterwards would start making some videos, when in reality the idea is that we would not focus too much on theory because the media equipment is very simple to use, and we can use practical, hands-on exercises to build the technical skills.
The idea is to quickly get hands on during the first week, and then start making a first round of arts and videos near the end of the first week, continuing through the second week, and then getting into editing by the middle of the 2nd week. In the evenings we’d look at the footage as a whole group, and participants would talk about what looked good, what didn’t and how to improve. Once that got cleared up things moved on splendidly. Photo: Practice and group reflection is the best teacher.

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