By Jessica Burtt, Undergraduate student at the RTA School of Media, Faculty of Communication and Design
Last February I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Kenya for the RTA International Development class. Our trip was in partnership with Amref Health Africa, an organization that has developed multiple initiatives in Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia, to improve the health of people living in Africa through community empowerment and better health systems. During our trip we visited two projects, spending time with the local people to develop content for Amref’s social media, in hopes that it would increase awareness and encourage others to donate or volunteer their time.
For the second half of our trip we spent time in Dagoretti, a slum just outside of Nairobi, at the Dagoretti Child in Need Development Centre. For this initiative we wanted to highlight the students enrolled at the centre, which would in turn highlight all that the centre and Amref have done for the students and community.
I personally got to work with Rose, an 8-year-old student in the art class. When I first met Rose I felt drawn to her because of her sweet demeanour and curiosity. Rose initially approached me and some of my classmates and started telling us about her favourite flowers. This friendship quickly developed into dance parties 24/7. When I first got to filming Rose’s feature, she was a natural! As one of the younger kids, we had to give her a bit of direction, but otherwise she was awesome (and loved watching the footage of herself!)
All of the students, role models and faculty at the centre were incredibly welcoming and excited to help us produce these videos. In turn, I hope that the videos will bring more visibility to the important work Amref is doing with children like Rose and communities in Eastern Africa.
Overall, I learned so much, not only about field video production but also about the culture and community members. I had an unforgettable experience thanks to Ryerson and Amref, and I can’t wait to go back and visit my friends at the Amref Kenya office and the Dagoretti Centre
See #DiscoverDagoretti: RTA Community Engagement in Kenya (Part 1 of 3) and (Part 2 of 3) for more on this project!
To learn more about Ryerson’s partnership with Amref Health Africa, see “Kenya welcomes students for immersive education experience” in Ryerson Today