OneMinutesJr workshop in Belarus - Day 1
by Chris Schuepp
MINSK, Belarus - October 11, 2010 - Only a few days after finishing the workshop in the youth penitentiary in Lipcani, Moldova, the OneMinutesJr project today starts another workshop in the Belorussian capital Minsk.
21 boys and girls from different parts of the country have gathered in the Johannes Rau International Centre for Education and Exchange (IBB) in Minsk to work together for five days and create OneMinutesJr videos on child rights. In his opening speech, the UNICEF Representative in Belarus, Yuri Oksamitniy, reminded the participants aged 13-17 of the importance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
After the subsequent introductory round, we start with a short screening of recently produced videos. Some of the participants already have some filming and editing experience and so the comments and questions are much more focused than they usually are. This continues to be the case after lunch when we sit down with the participants individually to talk with them about their story ideas.
A number of children bring up the role of their parents. Some are happy with their parents, some miss their parents because they have died or are constantly busy. Also the relationship to the parents seems to be an important point - the children want to be supported by their parents, they need their advice, but they don't want to be pushed from A to B and being told what to do.
Olja (14) is still a young girl, but she is already looking into the future and worries about her future children's health. Since the Chernobyl disaster in neighboring Ukraine in 1986 which sent a huge radioactive cloud across Belarus and other parts of Europe, ecological topics are firmly on the agenda here. And growing up in a big city like Minsk with all its industries and factories, the children are very sensitive when it comes to health issues.
A surprise topic also comes up on Day 1 of the OneMinutesJr workshop: Internet addiction. Several children want to make this the central theme of their films since they have lost friends in the recent past to the Internet. Ksenia (15): "They only live in online social networks now. They spend 5 or 6 hours online every afternoon and it's very hard to reach them or interact with them in real life."
Tomorrow, more discussions will follow before we start the filming in the afternoon of Day 2.