At the end of August I was one of the lucky few chosen to attend the PCV Media Summit, hosted by Peace Corps (PC) Ghana. It merrited the title ‘summit’ because it was an international affair. We had staff and volunteers from Benin, Botswana, Comoros, Madagascar,Togo, Uganda and even PC Headquarters in Washington!
It was held in the south and I had not been that far down since April. I had missed the sight of coconut trees but got most exited about the bead market once it was decided to be held in Koforidua, the regional capital of Eastern Region. Suffice to say, I and everyone else got to go and I found chunky glass beads of colors I did not yet have.
But back to the real reason I was down there. First, presentations were given. Organizers kept them short, to the point and as understandable as possible for someone like me, with no technical knowledge or experience. Second, we were split into groups depending on our topic preferences. I was in the Third Goal project and the other topics that made the cut were a cooking video, girls education and for fun, Peace Corps Survivor. Third, they let us loose. The end goal was to have four videos to be able to share.
I could not have been happier with my group. There was Meleia, a Malawi RPCV working in the PC Office of Third Goal, Laura a Benin PCVL and Gene, a Ghana PCV and dear friend. We had Ghana PCV Christiana as our facilitator and she did an awesome job keeping us on track for planning and developing our idea. I needed that. Planning was what I was most anxious about – how to convert the vision into reality? And here we had four people creating a two minute video, as opposed to a team making one person’s vision a reality.
I am so pleased with what we came up with. We ran out of time for some of the finer editing points but I hope to work on it sometime. You can view what we got so far though, along with the other ones!
–Why Third Goal?: we went for motivational over nostalgic.
–Okra Stew: A staple in Ghanaian cuisine. This is a beautifully captured short that will get you craving it!
–Peace Corps Survivor: A hilarious depiction of the ‘reality’ of our lives. Real PCVs were used in the making.
–Giver Her a Chance: Girls’ education is a serious problem in Ghana and other parts of Africa (and the world really). People need to see that educating a girl is just as important as educating a boy. #genderequality
It was such an awesome week getting to meet other currently serving volunteers, especially learning what everyday life is like for them in their host countries. Just another reminder that Africa cannot be generalized.
My expectations of the training were met: I learned the basics of technical and logistical film production, how to organize the creative process and got hands on experience for recording, audio and editing. Now it is a matter of practice. I feel competent enough to make other films. The two ones I have in mind are agricultural training videos in the local language and shorts on gender equality and challenging traditional gender roles. Watch this space!