Unicef and OneMinutesJR come to Kampot

Last week Epic Arts had some very important visitors; OneMinutesJR and Unicef Cambodia. These two organisations are working together to help young people across Cambodia tell their stories, and with this providing a voice and a video to share for each individual to help with social change.

Unicef are aiming to educate Cambodia with a quality education (this means without violence and with toilets for students who have enough nutrition to learn). Those who know this knowledge can share this knowledge, and therefore educate further the communities. In Cambodia poor people are not valued in the Government’s decision making as a lot of poor people do not register births. Without birth registration it is difficult for people to access social services, and means that decision makers don’t know how many people need what and it is difficult for them to support them. It is easy for society to exclude people that are not registered.

Unicef are working together with the government to ensure each child gets the support they need to reach their full potential. One thing they know, is that to a child to develop fully it needs to be free from violence. The idea is ‘everybody, everything, except violence’. A child that is at school but is experiencing violence does not have the ability to reach their full potential, neither do they if they are hungry or do not have access to a proper toilet facility.

Once we have everybody, everything and no violence, we are ready to have quality education. Quality education is everybody’s right. And it is important for Cambodia, so that the people of Cambodia can be strong in their production and social collaboration of society.

They are working together with OneMinutesJR (http://www.theoneminutesjr.org/) to provide opportunity for young people to learn how to write a storyboard, come up with an idea, film, direct and edit a film about themselves. They teach them how to use all of the technology as well as encouraging them to tell their story, and giving them a voice that can be heard by others. Most have access to the internet which means they can share their story with as many people as they choose, as well as the whole world being able to access and learn about them.

It was really rather upsetting to learn that most of the people I am working with here are experiencing violence. It is prevalent in communities here, and without the correct education, is filtering down from generation to generation. These opportunities are such a great way to provide the option for young people to use this film to share this, how its wrong and what we can do to change. Of course this was just an option, and if you wanted to do a film about stars you could (and they did!).This gave them opportunity to tell their story, and to decide what to do with their story. The aim of this workshop is that it doesn’t end after these five days, but that this is hopefully the beginning of these young people in Cambodia telling their story and using their story telling skills to make Cambodia universally INCLUSIVE.

They worked alone to think of which idea they would like to portray, some choose to highlight their disability and the difficulties they have faced in a society that does not like to accept them, and other chose to highlight their favourite hobbies, like football or dance, or to show their abilities.

They then worked in groups to film and direct each other.

Then helped to edit their one minute films.

It was great fun to assist the groups, and I myself learnt a lot about filming, as well as getting the opportunity to go to some of the student’s homes and favourite places around Kampot. It was a real eye opener to see the way they lived, especially when I only teach them for a couple of hours a day. The amount of work they do; chopping wood, looking after and cooking for relatives and feeding animals, all before their dance class at 8am is truly inspiring.

One of my favourite stories to film was one of a girl who loves buffalo; we had to go and find a water buffalo to be her friend!

She loves all animals. Can you tell?

We had a lot of fun and I learnt so much about all the students. For more information of what we got up to and their stories have a look here
http://unicefcambodia.blogspot.com/2015/06/camera-action-promoting-expression.html and http://unicefcambodia.blogspot.com/2015/06/see-ability-not-disability.html

The videos are going to go up on One MinutesJR website and their YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/UNICEFoneminutesjr so keep your eyes peeled!! There’s also many more videos from a variety of places. I’ve had a look at a few and they really are so educational as well as just interesting and a great opportunity to learn about different places.

I love that each film is only a minute long; a lot can be said and shown in a minute, and who doesn’t have a minute to spare to learn about their friends in their community?

What a great way to spread the message, whatever message they have chosen you to see.

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