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OneMinutesJr workshop in Gyumri, Armenia (1)

by Chris Schuepp

Gyumri, ARMENIA, 18 February 2013 - 15 boys and girls have come together in Gyumri, the second biggest city of Armenia, to participate in a UNICEF-organized OneMinutesJr video workshop this week.

Introductory session of the OneMinutesJr workshop in Gyumri, Armenia - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2013

The topic of the interactive training is Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), a theme of extreme importance in the north of Armenia and especially here in the area around Gyumri, where a massive earthquake in 1988 took the lives of more than 25,000 people and left tens of thousands of people injured and homeless.

The participants of the workshop are children aged 10 to 15 mainly from the Gyumri and Spitak areas of Armenia. Spitak was near the epicentre of the 1988 earthquake and even now, 25 years later, there are still a lot of damaged buildings to see while people who became homeless back then still live in containers until today.

The children have all undergone DRR training modules in their schools and so they know a lot about disaster risk reduction, but the also know the importance of it, because most of them have heard the stories about the earthquake from their parents and grandparents.

In the five-day training that starts today, we will work with the children to turn their ideas about DRR into one-minute films that will be used as advocacy tools to prepare other children for natural disasters. Textbooks and training modules in schools are one way of getting children prepared, but short videos produced by peers in a creative, sometimes funny but always educational way will definitely be a hit with children and teenagers in the region.

Film language - how to tell an important story in 60 seconds. - UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2013

After a short introduction from the trainers and a refreshing of the participants' skill by the UNICEF Armenia DRR officer, the brainstorming begins and with it the first great story ideas are on the table.

Rubina (12) will do a film about her grandmother who was a teacher back in 1988 and saved the lives of her students by helping them jump out of the 2nd floor window when chaos broke lose after the earthquake.

 Artashes (12) will tell people in his video what to do right after an earthquake - where should you try and help, where should you put safety first. 

Lena (13) will explain why it is important to stay near the main walls of a building when the earth shakes and other children will also focus on immediate action that needs to be taken when disaster strikes. 

The ideas will be further developed tomorrow and then the children will get a technical introduction before we can start shooting the films here in Gyumri.

The workshop is supported by UNICEF and ECHO under the project "Supporting Disaster Risk Reduction amongst vulnerable communities and institutions in Central Asia and the South Caucasus." 





OneMinutesJr workshop in Gyumri


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