We’ve finished up the first round of Digital Arts classes by completing a community activism video project with the older group on the neighborhood’s limited water service, and short, personal Digital Reflections with the younger groups. It certainly wasn’t all easy, especially since the majority of the youth started with very minimal computer skills if any and come from a public school system that emphasizes memorization, not reflection or invention. There were moments when the kids told us they couldn’t do it, and not all finished in our tight time-frame. But for those who did and realized that they created something they thought they couldn’t do, the challenges made the achievement even more special for the participants. We’re really proud of their work, and judging by their post-project reflections, they are too! Their comments also demonstrate that we’re meeting our objectives of youth empowerment and technical skill-building. José, 15, reflected on the video he produced with his classmates addressing Managua’s water provider, ENACAL: “I’m proud of the ENACAL project because I learned how to edit a video, which I never thought I would do, much less about an important neighborhood issue.” Jefry, 9, wrote of his Digital Reflection: “I’m proud of editing the photos and sounds on the computer and because I finished even though I missed two classes,” and Grethel, 11, said “I learned to reflect [about a personal story] and to edit on the computer and I liked it a lot.” You can see the ENACAL project and several of the Digital Reflections on the Podcasts section of the website. By the way, we are still looking for people who understand Spanish and can help us add English subtitles.
SIT brought paint & brushes-- the main room now has color!
Highlights from this month include a visit to a local radio station called La Primerísima, a day of painting with SIT study abroad students from the US and their Academic Directors, Aynn and Guillermo, a new English language teacher, Douglass Sánchez, and a whole day devoted to producing jewelry from recycled materials which Mika and James will be selling in the US when they return next week. The ten Podcasts for Peace participants who visited the radio station got a glimpse into possible future careers as announcers or sound technicians and were even interviewed live on the air about the video projects they had produced in Podcasts.
Right now we’re gearing up for a final celebration with the participants and their families before flying back to the US on December 9th. When we return to Alemania Democrática in January, we’ll start up the second round of classes with new and old participants, including a small group for advanced students. Mayquelin Pérez, a member of the Community Support Team, will be living in the Podcasts for Peace house while we are away, and in when we return we will begin training two new Program Coordinators and Digital Arts Instructors.
Thank you for all your support and for keeping up with us through the blog! And again, if you understand Spanish and know how to add subtitles to short video projects (or know someone who does), please send us an e-mail at PodcastsForPeace@gmail.com.
James and Mika
James and Mika