Real lives



Daily Diary


OneMinutesJr workshop in Tajikistan - Day 1

© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2010
Participants at the OneMinutesJr workshop in Tajikistan are watching films during the opening of the 5-day seminar.

"Water for life" is the topic of this week's OneMinutesJr workshop in the outskirts of the Tajik capital Dushanbe.

20 teenagers - 14 boys and 6 girls - are the participants of the seminar and will work together for the next five days to produce short films about water issues.

The Tajik government will host an international water conference next month here in Dushanbe. The films we produce this week are supposed to give the delegates and participants at the international conference an insight view from a child's perspective.

In Tajikistan, only 60% of the households with children have access to an improved water source. Unsafe drinking water and a lack of improved sanitation and hygiene contribute to the largest share of diarrheal deaths in Tajikistan and worldwide. With this background, we start the workshop in Varzob, a 20-minute drive north of Dushanbe, a picturesque place surrounded by mountains and mountain rivers.

The participants are eager to learn the techniques of filming and editing, but we need to first go through some brainstorming on the topic "Water for life" and how we can get from an idea to the real story. After watching a series of examples of OneMinutesJr videos from other countries, we sit down individually with the participants and let the combined creative power take over...

© UNICEF / Chris Schuepp / 2010
Discussing film ideas all day and all night...

Some really interesting story ideas are floating in the air: Muhamad (16) wants to show a family having a picknick at a river, where they throw their rubbish into the water before they leave. Back home, they open the tab of the bathtub and when bathtub is full, all their rubbish from the river has resurfaced in their own bathroom.

Komiljon (16) will film a story about a village where the council of elders is discussing water issues. A child raises its voice and actively joins the discussion, because it is a child right to participate in discussions and also because water questions are issues of the future generations.

Many stories are also about water-borne diseases, a real problem in Tajikistan. Recent polio cases and especially bad experiences of friends and family members with diarrhea and typhoid fever have alarmed the teenagers to be more careful with their drinking water. Sometimes the water that comes out of the tab in the bathrooms here is as brown as coffee...

Tomorrow, on the second day of the workshop, we will fine-tune the storyboards and then we are off into the city and the villages to start the filming.

Dushanbe, Tajikistan - May 14, 2010 - Chris Schuepp





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