East African young TV producers join the Global Network
Within the framework of UNESCO's Global Network of Young TV Producer's on HIV and AIDS, UNESCO's Office in Nairobi, in collaboration with the East African Film Institute and the Development Through Media (DTM), organized a training workshop on HIV and AIDS for 10 young TV producers from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.
The training, which took place from 20 to 29 July 2009 in Nairobi, Kenya, aimed at assisting selected East African countries in scaling up strategies and programmes of action to combat HIV/AIDS pandemic by raising the level of knowledge about HIV and AIDS among television producers. Another goal of the training was to improve production skills and capacity of TV producers, and to increase the number of quality television programmes about HIV and AIDS in the East Africa region.
The training was carried out by experienced trainers, among whom Monique Tondoi, a well known public-health trainer who surprised the participants by confessing that she had lived with the virus for the last 15 years, and Nanna Engebretsen, a PhD candidate who is undertaking a research on UNESCO's Network of Young TV Producers on HIV and AIDS. Both of them greatly enriched the quality of the training.
"I have been reporting on HIV for almost half of my life, and I have never gained so much knowledge on this issue as during this training. Monique is the best teacher I have ever seen," one of the participants commented after the first session. Another one said: "Having a person living with HIV as one of the trainers, who shared the vital information with us, was the best part of the training. I have learnt that being a TV producer is not about cameras, especially in HIV and AIDS programmes - it is crucial to have a good knowledge of the subject."
The training style was also highly appreciated by the participants: "Approaches used in the sessions, especially plays, films and entertainment programmes are really educative, and I am excited to learn more about documentaries because I would like to go into longer productions of this kind."
By the end of the workshop, the trainees acknowledged that there was a lot of space for improvement in their documentary making. They were eager to put into practice the models they learnt:
- letting people say their own stories;
- keeping in touch with experts in specific fields and with groups of people they would like to document on, respecting ethical standards;
- being as imaginative and creative as possible;
- going more to the ground and exploring.
The end product of the training, consisting in five-minute features produced by each participant in his/her home country, is expected by the end of this month. The features will be compiled by DTM into one programme with appropriate branding and promotional materials, including profiles of participants and organizations. The programme will be broadcasted free of charge by the participating broadcast stations. DTM and UNESCO will have the rights upon it for distribution through their networks.