In late June, no rx I spent a week in Mwanza, Tanzania with our partners, Caretakers of the Environment (COET). Over three days we delivered an iPad film and storytelling workshop with six of the boys who triumphed for Tanzania at the 2014 Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Street Child United is committed to providing a platform for the voices of street children to be heard. The former street children we work with are ambassadors for those on the street, they are peer role-models and spokespeople.
After the team returned home triumphant from Rio, they had the continued platform to represent children on the streets in Tanzania meeting both The President and the Tanzanian Parliament. The workshop is designed to build on these opportunities and helps develop the team’s skills in recognising the power of being able to share their story and hopes and dreams for the future.
To kick the workshop off we asked the boys Lucas, Dao, Hassan, Kelvin, Mika and Justin to tell us a story about the proudest moment of their life. They all told a story about playing at the Street Child World Cup, from being picked for the team, or stepping onto a plane for the first time, to leading their team out for the Final or lifting the cup.
We discussed why it is important to tell and share stories, and the difference they can make in helping the world become more aware of the specific issues and challenges millions of street children face every day.
Then it was time to get out the iPads. The boys told me they had never used an iPad before, or made a film.
To build familiarity with using the iPads and the basics of piecing together a story we tasked the boys with finishing this scenario: Tanzania are in the final of the FIFA World Cup 2018, it’s the last minute…what happens?
We split into two groups and began planning. The first exercise was to work out what they wanted to happen next. Unsurprisingly both groups decided that Tanzania would win the World Cup Final through the awarding of a penalty. Referencing the 2014 Street Child World Cup final, both groups decided their opponents were to be Burundi.
The next task was to work out the beginning, middle and end segments of their stories. That way they could break down the action within each segment, and who and what needed to be in which. From there they could begin to build up an idea of the shots / angles they would need to best tell their story.
And then the fun began, as both groups split up and found empty goals to record the action. The boys drafted in COET Programme Director, Naomi Power and Director of Amos Trust and Street Child World Cup Co-Founder Chris Rose to play the Goalkeeper and Referee. Each of the boys took on a different filmmaking role including director, cameraperson and actor.
The following day we focused on editing. Editing is key to storytelling, whether on film, paper or spoken word. We automatically edit our own stories to ensure what’s included is always the stuff that best tells the story. Editing film is exactly the same process. You start at the beginning and work through the middle to the end.
We gathered together around an iPad and opened iMovie. I began to explain the principles of editing, which was being translated into Swahili by Naomi. There isn’t a Swahili word for ‘editing’, however I’ve never seen a group pick it up as quickly. It was incredible. They were editing the footage they had filmed the day before. By the end of the day they had completed their first films.
On Day 3, the final day of the workshop, we brought it back to them and being able to use their own experience and stories to inspire others.
It was an incredible experience to work with the boys, and see their talent, passion and imagination run riot. The iPad is now theirs, so I look forward to continuing to work alongside them and hope to see many more of their fantastic and inspirational stories.
The following weekend the boys got straight on the iPad to create a film about a local football tournament – you can see the result below:
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