Bukeni Waruzi, WITNESS Program Coordinator for Africa and the Middle East, traveled last month to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to conduct a video advocacy training for 20 young human rights activists aged between 15-25 from Speak Africa, a Pan-African youth focused network of organizations.
Coordinated in partnership with UNICEF Ethiopia, YMCI, AUCC-Accra, BBCWST, ACPF, and UNECA, the training lasted for one week and focused on youth from Ethiopia, Ghana, Angola, Egypt, Mozambique and Madagascar.
Although many of the youth are already active in their countries as independent reporters, producers, and editors, this training was their first experience with video as a tool for advocacy. "The main goal was to start to share continental experiences on advocacy strategies using media," says Bukeni. "They were very creative and able to conceptualize their messages clearly in the short (practice) videos they produced as Public Service Announcements."
A customs snafu made the challenge even harder: the Flip cameras donated by WITNESS to UNICEF were only released by Ethiopian customs on the last day of the training, which meant that the students had just one day to shoot. In their first attempt, this practice round shows how quickly they learned the potential of video for advocacy.
See for yourself -- This group from Mozambique called on the government to ratify the African Youth Charter before November 1st, Africa Youth Day:
This young activist from Ghana called attention to the importance of basic sanitation:
From Angola, an appeal for the government to respect the rights of the Angolan children:
And from Ghana, a discussion about children's rights to education, opinion, and expression.
The Flip cameras stayed in Ethiopia, so expect to see much more from this group here on the Hub!