OneMinutesJr workshop - Derventa (BiH) - Day 1
The academic year 2011/2012 is running and the children have to go to school, so we only start the workshop after lunch-time when the classes are over. We find a very motivated group here and all of them have volunteered to participate and are looking forward to a week of filmmaking and an exciting after school activity.
The team this time is a bit bigger than usually. We have brought three trainers from the Genesis Project, an NGO based in Banja Luka, about 80 kms away from here. Genesis has been working since 1996 on peace and tolerance projects with children and has been a long-time partner of UNICEF here Bosnia and Herzegovina. The new trainers received a "crash course" in OneMinutesJr workshop facilitation yesterday and are ready to learn more during this week, especially time managment during the workshop and the psychological aspects of working with children in filmmaking.
Next is the introduction of the theme: Child rights with a special focus on social inclusion. A poster with the first ten articles of the Child Rights Convention (CRC) is on the wall downstairs near the entrance to the school, but it is always good to remind children of their rights. In the short social inclusion intro, we group the children first by favorite colors, then by hair-style, then by whether of not they wear glasses, by gender, and so on. In short: We give them an impression of what it means to belong to a majority or a minority, depending on what the parameters are. Once you are in, once you are out. Just like in real life, but all within a few minutes to make the negative effects of exclusion much more obvious to them.
And now we are ready for some brainstorming and the initial story ideas. While it is already getting dark outside, the children present their early ideas and we are intrigued by their very personal views on life in Derventa, their friends, families, school life and their daily way to school through dark alleys with frightening stray dogs and scary cars passing them with lightning speed, so it seems. We manage to talk to 9 out of 15 children in the afternoon and will continue the individual sessions first thing tomorrow - after school, when the OneMinutesJr workshop here in Derventa resumes.