OneMinutesJr workshop in Odessa, Ukraine (1)
by Chris Schuepp
ODESSA, Ukraine, 3 October 2012 - The OneMinutesJr video trainers have arrived in Odessa, Ukraine, to work with children from The Way Home, a center for street children and children from troubled families.
On the first day of the workshop, 14 children have gathered in the workshop room at The Way Home in the center of Odessa. The youngest one is nine years old and most of the children are under 13 years of age. Only Alina, who has been at the center for more than three years already, is 20 years. They all are looking forward to the new experience of producing their own short movies.
The children are here at The Way Home for different reasons. Some of them actually lived in the streets of Odessa. Petya is one of them. The 13-year-old boy has been here for three years already and before that he was a street child for several years.
Anton (12) also used to live in the streets, but unlike Petya, who was alone, Anton was homeless together with his parents before he was picked up by the "Social patrol" of The Way Home. The patrol consists of former street kids, social workers and psychologists and goes out to the streets of Odessa on a regular basis to spot homeless children and families, build a relationship with them and convince the children to come to The Way Home and start a new life there.
Many of the other participants of the workshop were lucky enough not end up in the streets. But they were identified by social workers as "children on the edge", meaning that they come from troubled families and could potentially end up as street children if no preemptive steps were taken. The Way Home always works closely with the parents and also tries to link them up with other organizations for additional support, finding them jobs or other opportunities to cope with their lives.
We start the workshop today with a general introduction, then we watch some OneMinutesJr videos produced at recent workshops in Kazakhstan and Moldova before we continue with the most important part of the first day of the workshops.
While we give the children an assignment to go out into the yard and experiment with the camera, we start doing one-on-one talks with them, trying to find out what experiences from their lives they want to share and how to turn these into short movies.