‘Our Africa’ is an ambitious project which sets out to let children across Africa film their lives the way they see them. Our teams have been travelling throughout Africa to capture children’s thoughts, opinions and ideas to present a new perspective on Africa through their own eyes. And what they’re saying is being filmed and captured in a new website, ‘Our Africa’, which will be seen by families around the world. Children featured are from SOS Children’s Villages and their local communities where we run Family Strengthening Programmes.
We will have visited and filmed in at least 45 countries across Africa by the time the project is finished in 2012. So far we have visited 14 countries and ten have been completed for the website. More are in the pipeline. You can preview film already uploaded at: www.our-africa.org
We have visited each SOS Children's Village featured to date with a professional cameraman and run a workshop, teaching groups of children how to plan, script, shoot and edit a film. Children in each workshop also produce their own video, which they create from start to finish. “The children are amazingly creative with themes for their films, some of which are quite sophisticated,” says SOS Children Director of Development, Kathie Neal.You can see their films on the website. In the latest film (still to be published), children in Uganda depict how some people in their society steal land by bribing corrupt officials.
“In ‘Our Africa’, you’ll see children share what matters most to them – from how they value their family, education, and politics, to aspirations they have for jobs and marriage, and how they would like things changed fundamentally in their societies (for example how men treat women),” says Kathie. “They talk about whatever they choose.”
Apart from learning film making and editing skills, children in each Village are given a video camera so they can continue filming and teaching others to film with a trained local youth leader, developing a Village film makers’ club.
“Whether you’re exploring Africa for the first time, or whether you’re a seasoned traveller there, we hope you feel as privileged as we do to be invited into these children's lives,” says Kathie.
As we visit more and more of the countries in Africa, and speak with more children, the site will evolve. So we hope you’ll revisit it from time to time and see what’s new. You can also read some of the behind-the-scenes moments and experiences that contributed to the ‘Making of Our Africa’ by reading the 'Our Africa' blog.