There are about 179,000 people living in the Kakuma refugee camp. This may look like just a number, but individual and personal stories are behind every refugee. With our project we focus on personal empowerment through creativity. Everybody has a talent and in our different workshops and courses you get a chance to explore it.
Our goal is to create a space in the refugee camp where youth can meet and talk about ideas, art and own projects. We already conducted two pilot projects with media training in the Kakuma refugee camp (2 weeks training in June 2014 and in June 2016) and we saw one of the biggest challenges is lack of electricity and internet. Therefor we want to construct a cyber cafe with 10 work places which can be run with solar power to be sustainable. The participants of the workshops in Kakuma developed the idea of the cyber cafe together with us when we were recently there in June 2016.
The cyber cafe will not only be a place where refugees can learn ICT and media skills, but also a way to be connected with their friends and families back home. Internet became a basic need in recent years. Refugees should be able to make use of its power even though they live in a remote area to not lose the connection to the rest of the world.
With our media training program we want to encourage youth to be entrepreneurs. The skills they learn can be used in the camp but also wherever they will settle in the future, whether this is returning to their home country or settling in a new environment. During the media workshops participants will have responsibilities and have the chance to implement their own ideas.
Kakuma refugee camp has occasionally had conflicts with the host community and within themselves as result of difference in nationality and ethnicity. Learning Design, Photography and Film skills will bring the youths together with a common goal, hence build a peaceful relationship within the camp having understood and appreciated each others culture. Through organizing a festival together as a group we will support team building.
We will have a mixed group of individuals between 16 and 35 years of age. We welcome people who have dropped out of school or who might not know how to write and read. They still have talents and might explore their talent in art. As you learn a lot from your team members we would like to have a diverse group of people with different backgrounds in culture, education and different age.
THE cyber cafe/MEDIA HUB
We want to construct a solar-run cyber cafe with 10 work places where we need the following equipment:
- 10 laptops
- Internet rooter
- A4/A3 printer (digital)
- hard drives
- furniture: tables, chairs, shelf
- solar panels and battery/generator
photography/film equipment equipment:
- 10 DSLR cameras, different lenses
- 5 tripods
silk screen printing equipment:
- textile paint
In addition to the cyber cafe we want to establish a silk screen workshop where people can print their own t-shirts. After our last pilot project in Kakuma we saw the need for silk screen printing, people do produce their own shirts but have to use stencils.
Ideas for businesses we already came up together with the Kakuma refugees:
- Taking photographs for refugees (e.g weddings, portraits,...)
- Taking photos at events for NGOs (e.g. world refugee day (once a year), Kakuma football premier league (weekends), world woman day (once a year),...)
- printing t-shirts
- designing posters
- - ...
More business ideas will be developed during our workshops.
Curriculum for the media Training
Our project consists of 3 phases:
- Design and Media course (3 months)
- Workshops (2 weeks)
- Festival (1 day)
PHASE 1: A three months courses with 3-4 teachers/workshop conductors and around 30 students
Main objective: Team building, establishing a safe zone to be creative, impart knowledge of basic design, photography and film skills.
Target group: Young people who are interested in learning design and media skills.
Design, photography and film skills are shared through different workshops. The workshops are based on our experiences with USANII LAB. The main motto is “learning by doing”.
Most workshops have the same basic structure:
- developing an idea
- handcrafting it
- continue designing it on the computer
Take the logotype workshop as an example: First the logo is designed with spray paint and stencils. It can be spray-painted on the cover of a sketchbook (+learning some crafts: how to bind an exercise book in a few hours) and finally converted to a vector graphic on a computer.
The workshops remain short in the beginning to achieve a rewarding outcome for everyone at the end of the day. Each creative output is presented to others and discussed within the group. During later stages the workshops may include group work and have a duration of several days.
An important goal of the workshops - beside team building - is removing the preconceptions of what it means to be creative that are inhibiting the creativity. It’s all about ideas - they don’t have to be perfect but can be the start of something.
This goes hand in hand with learning computer skills. First we will teach digital literacy, what cloud computing is (using dropbox, google docs, ...) and then teach some Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign skills in different workshops.
A variety of workshops is planned:
Designing a logo, designing your own book, making a stop motion movie/animation, doing a short film, learning how to make photo portraits, designing a movie poster.
Photography workshop will entail: Skills on handling a camera, camera settings, learn how to edit pictures and how to write captions for them. In addition they are going to learn how to present their pictures and to organize exhibitions.
Filming workshop will include: Skills on handling a camera, camera settings, learn editing, learning how to make documentaries and movies. The trainees will be asked to come up with ideas of documentaries and movies they want to make. Afterwards, in groups they are going to form members of the crew and the cast. The production team will strictly be from among the trainees under the supervision of a trainer. The film and the documentary will therefore be screened at the end of the festival in Phase 3. The films and documentaries produced therefore participate in international and national Film festivals e.g Slum film festival, Lola film festival and Kenya International Film Festival. This is a result of one of the workshops from pilot project 2, June 2016 https://youtu.be/YnXf5BHtrjU
PHASE 2: two weeks workshop festival
The participants of PHASE 1 will help organize the festival for 8 workshop conductors and around 120 students.
Main objective: learning to know different artists that are conducting the workshops and different styles and ideas, reaching a wider audience. The participants from Phase 1 may now take more responsibility in helping with the organization, but they just as well take part in the workshops
Target group: young people who want to try out something creative and have fun.
The workshops are open for more participants. There are workshops planned in the fields of music, film, photography, fashion, design and art. Each workshop lasts one week and has 15 participants. The workshops can be repeated (one in the first week, the same one in the second week for a different group). Depending on the workshop conductors the workshops can also build on each other such as recording a song during the first week, then shooting a music video with the song in the second week.
During this time the participants of phase 1 regularly meet to organize the festival/exhibition (PHASE 3)
PHASE 3: 1 days Festival/Exhibition
Main objective: presenting the output of Phase 1 and 2. The participants of the 3 months training will help document everything, presenting the created art works, photos and films to the other residents of the refugee camp.
The participants of phase one will set up an exhibition place, document the workshops and festival in a small magazine and will edit a documentary which will be screened.
All output will be not only shown in the camp but also in Nairobi and documented on a website.
Through our experience with USANII LAB we know that youth develop their own ideas and projects, so it highly depends on the participants how it will go on after phase 3. As we work with them to train them as multipliers, they will be able to conduct workshops themselves and train others.
More so the partakers will be in a position to have a livelihood out of the skills acquired. The cyber cafe will be a place where youth can start their businesses, whether that’s photography or design jobs they can do.