OneMinutesJr workshop in Suva, Fiji - Day Three
Fiji, 20 January 2010 - At 9 a.m. sharp, the third day of the OneMinutesJr workshop starts in Namadi Heights, a suburb of Suva, the capital of Fiji. There is a long list of videos that need to be filmed today. Planning the schedule is the first thing we need to do and therefore we group the workshop participants by film topic and locations.
Three films can be done right here at the workshop venue since we only need "neutral" backgrounds and no special locations. Also, for these films we need a lot of actors and it is necessary to keep the whole group together for this reason. The filming does not take too long and then we are off in groups.
David accompanies Naca (18) and Manoq (17) to a jail and a small village. They want to film their personal stories there, one is about juvenile justice and the other one about child abuse. At the same time, another group is taken by the second trainer to a home for disabled children and to a local hospital.
Junior (15) is wondering why he hardly ever sees disabled children in Suva. He has made some investigations and contacted a special school for disabled children. We go there and talk to the children, trying to find out how they live, what their dreams are and what they miss.
Next is Anna (17). The young girl is almost done with school, is a very good student and wants to become a doctor. There is a lack of qualified hospital staff and doctors in Fiji and many of the professionals are from overseas. However, it still will not be easy for Anna to follow her dream. She has found out how much it costs to attend a medical school - and this is where she might have to bury her dream.
In her last words in the film, Anna says: "I think that money should not stand in the way when it comes to education and finding a job that you really want to do."
In the afternoon, there are more teenagers waiting for their turn. Simeli (18) has a problem: He is torn from one side to the other, pushed around by teachers, family and friends. At least that is what it feels like for him at this point of his life. He would like to become a cook, but his father would rather see him as a doctor. In his film, Simeli will show his indecision and his need for guidance, but also the need for trust in himself and the need for support to follow his own ideas.
Later, we drive out to another suburb. One of the workshop participants grew up here. At the age of 10, she was sexually abused by a family member. Today she has returned to make a film about the incident to raise awareness for what unfortunately is a common problem in Fiji. Only when we have left the house and the filming is done, she says to me: "You know, this is exactly where it happened eight years ago. It is very difficult to come back here. I have had good times here in my childhood, but also bad times."
Driving back to the workshop venue, I think about all the stories the children are telling at the workshops. Many of them are sad, some are even terrible. But it is important to talk about these issues and at every single workshop, I have the feeling that the teenagers are happy that they get the chance to talk, to produce a film and to tell their stories to the world.
Suva, Fiji - January 20, 2010 - Chris Schuepp