When I got back home to Cameroon after the workshop, I was motivated to organize a similar workshop for my fellow alumni. I knew that YES Cameroon Alumni had done a lot of great projects that needed to be shared and that all the alumni had stories they all wanted to tell. I also wanted to teach the world about Cameroon and Africa and show them in a positive light since I had received a lot of stereotypical questions about my culture when I lived in America. I wanted to hold this workshop because I had learned the skills needed to teach them how to make and share these great stories from the workshop in Ghana.
At the workshop I organized, a YES Cameroon staff member, Paul Claudel Jiogo, who was well versed in digital storytelling, helped me teach 25 other YES alumni. Together we talked about how we could tell stories using photos, videos, audio, and animation. We explained to the alumni participants the rules to follow when using any of these means to tell a story. We talked about the art of storytelling, telling visual stories, the use of photography in telling stories, social media, how to conduct good interviews, and how to make good and purposeful media. We also showed them how we can use software like Adobe Pre 11 Elements to make the story interesting but short. After the instructional portion of the workshop, which the alumni participants really enjoyed, we assigned them projects to make short films as individuals or as groups using what they had learned. They were told to make movies of their experiences in America, since some were just returning from the United States from a year abroad, or to make videos of Cameroon and Africa in a positive light in order to combat stereotypes. These alumni participants are still currently working on their videos.
This workshop has help me to see that my community has a lot of interesting and wonderful and also heartbreaking stories that have to be told, and I hope with the skills I learned and shared with my fellow Cameroon alumni we can tell these stories and help in our little way to change the world. I am also continuing to make videos myself. Right now I am working on a short film titled “Sensation Against Motorbike Accidents” with other Cameroon YES alumni. I want to continue to make short films and my next short film will be called “Soccer Not Crime.” It will focus on how soccer and sports in general can help take young people away from crime by keeping them busy and also teaching them responsibility through team spirit. My fellow YES alumni and I have seen that we can be and make the change we want to see in our communities through the skills we learned at the workshop in Ghana.
Some reactions to the workshop from YES alumni in attendance include:
According to Larissa Essombe (YES '09), "During the workshop I learned a lot of things like how to make a good story, to identify a documentary shot and a lot of other things. I enjoyed being part of the workshop. It was interesting and fun."
She is supported by Joseph Lambe (YES '10), who said, "The workshop was very useful because it taught us things we should take into consideration when making a photo or video that we didn't know before."
Suzy Hilary Kencle (YES '10) continued, "During thse two days of workshop, I learned...the 10-80-10 rule (10% technology, 80% inspiration and 10% luck) and their roles in photography. The depth of field, form, format, and style was also really interesting. I really enjoyed the workshop because it was interesting and fun."
Below is a video made by the YES Cameroon alumni who attended the workshop.