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The project, ‘Our Africa’, is an evolving collection of hundreds of video clips from countries spread across the Africa continent – filmed through the eyes of children living there.
Andrew Cates, Chief Executive at SOS Children, says: "Our Africa’ gives you the opportunity to experience something much deeper and closer to the reality of actually being there. For anyone who has visited Africa vivid memories will come flooding back. The child generated content gives authentic uncomplicated perspectives which even a visitor to the countries might miss. It does give a reference, it does educate and inform but somehow it captures something quite remarkable about what Africa is all about."
The website houses dozens of short videos from each country across the continent in which children of different ages from report about their own country, from main national topics to their everyday lives.
A learning resource for teachers that can be readily used in the classroom in support of the national curriculum accompanies the site to make it an innovative learning tool that students and teachers will enjoy.
Adeline Gouenon (18) from Ivory Coast took part in ‘Our Africa’.She said: “I was the chief reporter for the film of my country. I was really choked to know that people thousands of miles away are thinking about us and want to know what our country is really like. For me it was my first time using a camera and being a reporter and I really got into the role. I love my country and I want other people around the world to know about it.”
Accompanying the videos is accessible and straightforward background information on subjects such as the economics of each country, poverty and healthcare, welfare of children, history and politics, food… all of the things that pupils and teachers can use in the classroom, but also anyone wanting to visit or find out more about a country would want to know.
Lee Hunter, Deputy Head Teacher at The Tiffin Girls’ School in London says: “The beauty of ‘Our Africa’ is that it shows children in the UK the similarities between their own lives and children living in Africa. As well as showing the obstacles that many young people face living in Africa, it essentially shows young people with similar mindsets, ambitions, hopes and interests. It is a great learning tool.”
SOS Children embarked on the ‘Our Africa’ project to mark their 40th year anniversary working in Africa. Everyone can see ‘Our Africa’ for free at: www.our-africa.org and view the teacher’s resource at: www.sos-schools.org/our-africa-teaching-resources
Dame Mary Richardson, president of SOS Children and a governor of the National College of School Leadership, says: “I am thrilled to support such a venture that educates, diminishes stereotypes and gives people a view of Africa, an incredible place that has never before been portrayed through the very children who live it.”