Amongst some of the most respected and well known journalists and broadcasters in the industry, Channel 4’s Jon Snow presented the New Media Award to Our Africa, an innovative web resource that beat off steep competition to win.
The One World Media awards showcase the best British media coverage of the wider world. Work from all media platforms and a wide range of genres is celebrated at the annual ceremony, but the focus is on under-reported stories from the developing world; it is the foremost international media awards event in the UK.
The judges for the New Media category were: Richard Davidson-Houston, Head of Online at Channel 4, David Brewer, Director of Media Ideas International, Stuart Hughes, World Affairs producer at BBC News and Many Turner, Project Manager at Commonwealth Broadcasting Association. They said about the project:
“Our Africa provides a platform for children to tell their own stories in their own words. The site is compelling and engaging, opening a window into the lives of young people from Morocco to South Africa. It fundamentally challenges the cliché of the poverty-stricken African child, demonstrating that children have the same mischievousness and sense of fun the world over.”
Kathie Neal, Director of Development, and four of the ‘Our Africa’ team members received the award from Jon Snow and Peter Barron, Director of External Relations at Google, the sponsors of the New Media Award. On receiving the award Kathie Neal said:
"Our Africa is a very special lens on the world of life in Africa, with a balanced view of mundane daily activities, side by side with the passion and cruelty of conflict and disease, and the hope and disappointment of life.
Children in the rest of the world will be able to connect with African children through a personal understanding. They may share the love of football or rap music, special treats that only Mum makes, or bunking off of chores, but they all appreciate being given responsibility and respect.
Our children in Africa have also had the experience of connecting with the rest of the world - they have been given a voice and wanted so much to tell everyone how proud they are of their country and their lives. They were given a special opportunity to develop communications skills which will enable them to connect with a greater network of people, and hopefully open a plethora of new horizons and possibilities for their lives."
Mary Cockcroft, the Chairman of the Trustees for SOS Children says of the award: "This is wonderful news and very well deserved." ‘Our Africa’ was created by SOS Children’s Villages, the world’s largest orphan charity, to celebrate 40 years of continuous working in Africa. It is an evolving online educational resource that showcases many hundreds of compelling and highly personal short films devised and filmed by children across Africa, presenting their own issues in their own way.