Day Seven - OneMinutesJr workshop in Yerevan comes to an end
The last day of the OneMinutesJr workshop in Yerevan starts relatively quiet.
The children are tired because of the hard work they have been doing since they started on Wednesday and after all, it is Sunday today. Some of them also had a late night editing session to make sure that only the last "fine-tuning" has to be done on the last day. So the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. The group has really "glued" in the last few days and you see them altogether chatting, playing cards or doing more camera-work which they will edit after the workshop. It is also one of the participants' birthday today (Lili turns 14) with the "full programme" of cakes, candles and presents. And a big party later tonight when everybody's friends and parents will come to see the film premiere.
At 5 o'clock in the afternoon all the films are edited and the trainers put them in one time-line in the editing programme for the presentation that will start in an hour. So far, most of the children have only seen the film that they edited and maybe one or two others. But to see all 20 finished films together, that is always a moment of special excitement. The same is true for the trainers who have put so much effort into helping with the film development, the filming and the editing that the "general overview" sometimes gets lost in the process.
"We need some extra chairs!"
It is 6 o'clock in the afternoon now and the room where the films will be screened is packed with participants, friends and family members. After a few introductory words on behalf of the UNICEF Armenia office, the first applause goes to the parents who supported their children in allowed them to participate in the workshop.
Then the lights are turned off and the presentation of the films begins. Truly amazing how much work 20 young people can get done with a little help in the course of only five days. The topics vary - some stories are funny, but most of the films have a very strong and personal message. Judging from the results of the workshop, the children from Yerevan are really concerned about the environment, they are afraid of neglect in the family, they handle the new technologies with special care and they also have an awareness for those with special needs and with children who are socially excluded.
At the end of the presentation, the Certificates of Participation are given out and pictures are being taken. Many of the participants say: "It was absolutely fantastic! Only too short, we don't want to go home yet." But they will have to. The parents are ready to take them home and tomorrow they will have to go back to school.
In a few days, all the films will be online on the OneMinutesJr project website and they will also participate in this year's OneMinutesJr Awards at the StrangerFestival in Amsterdam in July 2008. And, of course, UNICEF Armenia will find ways of using the films in their advocacy work within Armenia. After all, there is no better way of finding out what the children think and what they feel than by listening to them carefully or simply watching their films.
Yerevan - April 13, 2008 - Chris Schuepp