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OneMinutesJr workshop in Gyumri, Armenia (3)

by Chris Schuepp

Gyumri, ARMENIA, 20 February 2013 - Day 3 of a OneMinutesJr workshop is usually the day with the busiest filming schedule and today is sure not an exception to the rule. The 14 participants of the workshop here in Gyumri are out filming today, most of them under supervision from the trainer team, but some of them feel confident enough to go filming by themselves.

Young participants of the OneMinutesJr workshop filming on Day 3 of the training - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2013

At the beginning of the day, the whole workshop group makes its way to School #1 in the center of Gyumri. Margarita (14) is waiting for us in her classroom together with her classmates. Margarita sits in a wheelchair because she is suffering from cerebral palsy, but a few months ago, one of her biggest dreams came through.

After years in a daycare center for children with special needs, she was finally able to get enrolled at an inclusive school. Margarita made a short presentation at last year's TEDxKids conference in Yerevan and said that one of here biggest dreams was to go to school. The UNICEF Armenia Education Officer intervened and after some negotiations about the cost of transportation and other logistic questions, Margarita was admitted to School #1.

Panic in the classroom, but only for the film - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2013

Margarita also participates in the OneMinutesJr workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and her film is a combination of looking at disaster preparedness and children with disabilities. Imagine a natural disaster hits her school and the children panic, what happens to Margarita? All the children storm out of the classroom and Margarita gets left behind. But only at first, because then two of her classmates return and take her to a safe place. This is a great start for the main filming day as all workshop participants are involved as cameramen, directors or actors. We continue to film in the school for another film before it is time for lunch.

After a short break the group splits up in smaller teams. Alisa (12) takes some of the other participants to do interviews in the streets of Gyumri. She will ask adults what they learned from the big earthquake in 1988 and children what they know about earthquakes and other natural disasters.

At the same time, Karlen (14) and his small team go to the place where his mother witnessed the big quake 25 years ago. As a young girl, she fled from the 6th floor of an apartment building and was lucky to survive. You do not see too many high-rise buildings in Gyumri anymore today, one of the lessons learned from the recent past in this disaster-prone region of the South Caucasus.

Snow, ice and temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius cannot stop the young film-makers - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2013

Despite the temperatures being well below freezing, we continue the shooting in the afternoon in the streets of the second biggest city of Armenia. Artur (13) has learned in a special DRR class at school that it is good to have an agreed meeting place with your family members in case you get separated during a natural disaster. However, there is no such agreement in Artur's family, but this will change after this workshop. Artur walks through the streets of Gyumri, goes to his home, talks to his family and then show us the agreed meeting place, the statue of Poloz Mukuch, a well-known local clown, on an open square in the center of the city. 

For some special questions on disaster preparedness that have not been addressed properly in his training in school, Artashes (14) has set up a meeting with the Head of the Emergency Service of the Shirak district. We go to see him in his office on the other side of the city center and get the answers we were looking for, plus of course footage for Artashes' OneMinutesJr video.

During the interview at the regional Emergency Service in Gyumri - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2013

Several other films are already in the making, the evening will be spent with rough editing and then tomorrow the remaining films that still need to be shot will have priority so that all 14 videos are ready in time for Friday's final presentation.





OneMinutesJr workshop in Gyumri


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