#DiscoverDagoretti: RTA Community Engagement in Kenya (Part 2 of 3)

By Hannah White, Undergraduate student at the RTA School of Media, Faculty of Communication and Design

My name is Hannah White and I’m a 21 year old Ryerson student.  This past April I completed my third year in the RTA School of Media, majoring in Media Production and minoring in Business.

This past October, all RTA students received an e-mail about “RTA in Kenya” explaining that RTA would be offering an International Development course that winter, and as part of the course, the students would travel to Kenya and work alongside AMREF, a medical relief not-for profit organization.  Students would create content for AMREF Canada while overseas.  

Going to Kenya had been a dream of mine since the 5th grade, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to mix my interests and my education!

As a class, we decided we were going to do two separate projects for AMREF, one for each week of our trip. The first project we worked on was an Alternative Rites of Passage Documentary, shot two hours outside of Nairobi, in Magadi. We spent the second week at The Dagoretti Drop in Centre, right in Nairobi. This drop in center offered multiple activities for the children in the neighbourhood, ranging from arts to sports. It was here that each Ryerson student was responsible for creating their own 30 second video, that focused on a student and a skill that was offered at the center. This assignment included both filming and editing the video – #DiscoverDagoretti

My particular video is about a young boy named Henry. Henry is a natural athlete, who could always be found on the field playing football with all of his friends. Henry credits the development of much of his football skills to playing with the older boys at the center.

To hear more of Henry’s story, check out the video below!

Be sure to watch the other stories from Dagoretti as well, as each kid has their own unique one to share!

See #DiscoverDagoretti: RTA Community Engagement in Kenya (Part 1 of 3)

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To learn more about Ryerson’s partnership with Amref Health Africa, see “Kenya welcomes students for immersive education experience” in Ryerson Today

#DiscoverDagoretti: RTA Community Engagement in Kenya (Part 1 of 3)

By Hayley Graham, Undergraduate student at the RTA School of Media, Faculty of Communication and Design

I’ve always loved storytelling, whether it be listening to a story or telling one. So, when the opportunity to take the RTA International Development course to work on a storytelling project for Amref Health Africa came about, I couldn’t let it pass me by.

Along with 6 of my fellow classmates and our professor, Lori Beckstead, I travelled to Kenya for 2 weeks in February 2017 to film two projects.

During the first week, we travelled outside of Nairobi to Magadi to film a documentary about Amref’s project, Alternative Rites of Passage on the topic of female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital circumcision.

For the second week, we travelled back to Nairobi to film a social media campaign on Amref’s Dagoretti Child in Need Project.

For the campaign, we filmed 30-second videos highlighting a child at the centre and the subject they are most passionate about. We had little teams of three filming, so the team I was in filmed a handful, but the video that became my baby, for a lack of a better term, was Sophia’s “I am an actor.”

 

 

For every video we wanted to find a child who could not only highlight a particular school subject, but also who represented what the Dagoretti Child in Need Project stood for.

For acting we chose Sophia, and she was great. She was the most hardworking child in the class, and took it very seriously. We spent half a day filming and interviewing her. When we got back to Toronto, it was our responsibility to edit the footage down to a 30-second video, and deliver a product that we were all proud of.

 

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To learn more about Ryerson’s partnership with Amref Health Africa, see “Kenya welcomes students for immersive education experience” in Ryerson Today.

Shedding Skin at Talking Bodies 2017

By Emma Dunn, PhD Student in the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture

As a PhD student, international conferencing can be intimidating. If you’re like me, when surrounded by brilliant minds in your field, you can often feel stuck somewhere between shameless optimism and crippling self-doubt. However, the recent conference I attended with the support of Ryerson’s International Conference and Research Support Fund (ICRSF) – Talking Bodies 2017 at the University of Chester, UK – helped assuage my uncertainties and increase my confidence as an emerging scholar.

Engagement; networking; motivation. If I had to summarize my experience with Talking Bodies 2017 in three words, these would suffice.

Both the organizers and the delegates of the conference were extremely friendly to graduate students; in addition to presenting my research on anorexia and doll culture, I was able to absorb many engaging ideas from my fellow presenters. I made meaningful connections with scholars and graduate students from around the world, and gained new motivation to work on my thesis upon my return to Toronto.

Moreover, the conference took place in one of the most enchanting towns I’ve ever visited. Chester was used as a Roman fortress in the 1st century A.D., a fact that is illuminated by its long, red sandstone Roman walls, which frame the old town. Chester is also characterized by its red brick row houses and authentic Tudor style architecture. In between my intellectually stimulating conference sessions, I made time to walk around the town and take in its beauty.

One of the big bonuses of travelling to the UK for a conference is that there are many low-budget travel options offered to numerous places in Europe. With this considered, I of course couldn’t turn down the opportunity to continue my journey once the conference was over. I went on to travel through the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany for two weeks. Travelling with low-cost transit, sticking to a strict budget, cooking instead of eating out, and staying in inexpensive AirBnbs allowed me to travel to these three additional countries on a low student-friendly budget.

Canals, Amsterdam

May Day Protests, Switzerland

My inspiring experience at Talking Bodies 2017 would not have been possible without the support of Ryerson’s ICRSF. Participating in international conferences has allowed me to see places I never would have seen on my own, and to grow academically, emotionally, and spiritually; I’m already looking forward to the next one!

Mt. Pilatus, Switzerland

Conferencing in Thailand and Beyond

By Adel Alhalawani, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

 In March 2017, I received the International Conference and Research Support Fund (ICRSF) to travel to Thailand for an unforgettable global learning experience. My wife, Rania, came with me as well!

For the first week of our trip, we explored Bangkok, getting a taste of its people, food and culture. Soon after, I presented my research on new silicate-based bioglasses for orthopedic applications at the 3rd World Congress of Smart Materials hosted by BIT Global Inc. The conference was an extremely rewarding experience. I took advantage of various opportunities. For instance, sharing knowledge from the other side of the world, discussing possible advances in the field and making plans for future collaborations with leading innovators in the sector.

After the conference, Rania and I drove 2 hours away from Bangkok to the beautiful city of Pattaya, where we parasailed in the Gulf of Thailand, relaxed on the beach of Koh Larn island and tried some of Thailand’s world renowned seafood.

The week after, we actually flew to the beautiful Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This is where I completed my Masters Degree in 2013, so I was very excited to show my wife around. It was 45 ℃; a great contrast to the -20 ℃ we left behind in Toronto!

During the trip, we visited Malaya University, where I met with a cardiac surgeon and discussed details of a future collaboration.  We also visited the Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC), the 100 acre site that hosts the tallest twin buildings in the world.

We then traveled northeast of the city to the Genting Highlands, which is 1,740 meters above ground level. We loved cooling off and trying a diversity of tropical fruits. One of the most exciting parts of this trip was the cable car, which took us to the top of the hill passing through the clouds. The nature around us was breathtaking.

Our trips to both Thailand and Malaysia were full of fun and adventures. Lots of unforgettable memories in different theme parks and city attractions! I would like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Mark Towler, and Ryerson International for giving me the opportunity to participate in an international conference that was so relevant to my program of study.