Capturing a reunion
"Much of the filming we do with children doesn’t take much organisation. We film in the SOS Children’s Village and also in the local community, visiting families supported by SOS Family Strengthening Programmes.
Sometimes filming is much more complicated. Finding a young girl’s grandmother in the countryside outside Lusaka, Zambia was an endurance event. On the first day, with our young reporter camera in hand, bubbling with chatter, we travelled mile after mile, down potholed roads, and tracks that led nowhere, in search of her Grandmother whom she hadn’t seen in years.
We were given directions by people wanting to help at stalls at the side of the road, as well as by wizened old sages sitting in chairs outside their homes who, we were told, knew everyone and everything, for miles around.
They knew Grandmother. It was to the right. It was to the left. But, as evening crept on, there was no sign of where she lived and, reluctantly, we headed back to the SOS Village, our young reporter tearful and suddenly very quiet. She’d so wanted to see Grandmother. She hadn’t seen her for years. She’d been so looking forward to it.
With a few comforting words, and reminding her that would-be journalists like her would never give up on a story, the same party set out again the next day. The same wizened gentlemen were bemused as again we asked for directions.
It turned out we’d been almost there the day before. And, when we found the right track, way away from anywhere, we suddenly came across a small cluster of mud-built huts with thatched roofs, and an overjoyed Grandmother striding out from the fields where she worked, greeting her grandchild with big smiles and a traditional dance to celebrate the occasion.
Poignantly, Grandmother described how she went to family funerals quite often. All her sons and daughters had died, mostly from HIV/AIDS, and each time she returned to her home she brought back another grandchild or two. Ten of them slept on the dirt floor beside her mattress."
So what is Our Africa?
Our Africa is an internet sensation. We sent out staff from our UK team to visit communities in Africa. Equipped with inexpensive, durable “flip-cams”, the team showed local children how to use the equipment and sent them off to film their experiences.
Back in the UK, we brought together hours of footage and launched the Our Africa website to showcase the reality of growing up in Africa.
Curiosity piqued? Take a look...