The training of community-based oral historians and media practitioners started in 2002 and every year since then we have offered different training courses. Our recruitment process is unique in that we draw participants who are active in human rights focused NGOs and CBOs and who have an interest in oral history and media as a medium for raising awareness and advocacy. Our engagement with the NGOs and CBOs involves them in a support capacity during and on completion of the training courses.

Since 2002 we have trained 43 community-based oral historians and media practitioners. Each course is customised to address the learning needs of the trainees and the project needs of their NGOs and CBOs.

2002: Athlone Technical College, 11 trainees

The five-month long training course, 28 January - 13 May, was held at the Athlone Technical College. Trainees were drawn from the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Khulumani Support Group (KSG), Bokaap Community Productions, Trauma Centre, Sex Worker's Education and Advocacy Task Team (SWEAT), Youth for Work and the HRMC (Child Maintenance Project).

Dr Sean Field from the Centre for Popular Memory (UCT) was the oral history training facilitator. Computer Proficiency and beginners photography was facilitated by Leon Habelgaarn and Colin Johnson, of the Athlone Technical College. Research and Media Ethics were facilitated by the HRMC. Creative writing was facilitated by Anne Schuster and cartooning by Jonathan Shapiro (ZAPIRO). Illustrating stories, focusing on affordable methods was facilitated by the UCT's Memory Box Project. Elective courses included video production facilitated by John Tindall of Community Video Education Trust (CVET), radio programming by Seraj Jamal of the Broadcast Training Institute based at Bush Radio, an advanced computer course by Leon Habelgaarn and advanced photography by Colin Johnson, both of the Athlone Technical College. The training course was funded by the Ford Foundation Southern African Office.


Joy Papier presents certificates to Mary Magdalene Tal

The certificate ceremony was held at the Athlone Technical College’s Minor Hall on 25 May. An exhibition of the work was displayed at the ceremony. The Certificates were presented to Bongiwe Mkhutyukelwa, Thembinkosi Mtonjeni, Brian Mphahlele, Colin Da Sousa, Quanitah Abrahams, Ghadija Otto, Mary Magdalene Tal, Carol Cyster, Vanessa Witbooi, Zuleigah Vallie and Thanduxolo Gwam by Joy Papier, HRMC board member.

An in-depth evaluation of the 2002 training course involving the trainees and their NGOs and CBOs was implemented to help shape the design of subsequent courses.

2003: Athlone Technical College, 14 trainees

The five-month long training course, 3 February - 6 June, was also held at the Athlone Technical College. Trainees were drawn from the Cape Point Community Tourism, Ocean View Development Trust, Khulumani Support Group (KSG), Aids and Society Research (UCT), IDASA Democracy Radio, Western Cape Blind Association (WEBA), Disabled People of South Africa (DPSA), the Bipolar Support Group and the HRMC (Survival Stories Project).

The course structure was similar to the 2002 course except that the beginners and advanced photography were dropped because sharing single reflex cameras and the security thereof was too challenging. Instead trainees did a short course in visual literacy and photographic composition and they documented their work by means of disposable cameras.

Sean Field from the Centre for Popular Memory (UCT) and Shirley Gunn were the oral history training facilitators. Computer Proficiency was facilitated by Leon Habelgaarn of the Athlone Technical College. Research and Media Ethics were facilitated by the HRMC, Creative Writing by Anne Schuster and cartooning by Jonathan Shapiro (ZAPIRO). Illustrating stories, focusing on affordable methods, was facilitated by the UCT's Memory Box Project and artist Isaac Makeleni. Elective courses included video production by John Tindall of Community Video Education Trust (CVET), radio programming by Seraj Jamal of the Broadcast Training Institute based at Bush Radio, advanced computer proficiency by Leon Habelgaarn of the Athlone Technical College. An exhibition of the work was displayed at the graduation ceremony held on the campus. The training course was funded by the Ford Foundation, Southern African Office.


Standing: Katherine Wani, Sean Field, Charlene Swartz, Nondumiso Hlwele, Anaclet Mbayagu, Inge Jansen, Babalwa Cekiso, Clement Madila, Bijou Fataki, Molly Message, Ebrahim Manuel and Siyabonga Mbilane. Seated: Michael Kula, Jongikaya Xesi, Zukiswa Puwana and Serge Bukasa. Michael Mpahlwa was absent.
Trainees making memory books: From left to right: Babalwa Cekiso, Inga Jansen, Anaclet Mbayagu, Charlene Swartz, Ebrahiem Manual, Catherine Wani, Michael Mpahlwa, Siyabonga Mbilane, Bijou Fataki, and Zukiswa Puwana.
Sean Field presents certificates to Anaclet Mbayagu.

The certificate ceremony was held at the Athlone Technical College’s Minor Hall on 14 June. The Certificates were presented to Katherine Wani, Charlene Swart, Nondumiso Hlwele, Anaclet Mbayagu, Inge Jansen, Babalwa Celiso, Michael Mpahlwa, Clement Madila, Bijou Fataki, Molly Message, Ebrahiem Manuel and Siyabonga Mbilane by Sean Field, HRMC board member.

2004: HRMC Offices, Kenilworth, 9 trainees

The six-week long course was held at the HRMC's office in Kenilworth and was designed specifically to address the needs of the Western Cape Blind Association (WEBA), Khulumani Support Group (KSG), and Rape Crisis. Shiam Appolis of the HRMC also participated as, separate from her finance and administrative function, she was to initiate the HRMC’s Women Worker’s Life Story Project. The modules included Oral History facilitated by Carohn Cornell, Research and Media Ethics and Creative Documentation using Photography were facilitated by the HRMC. The Creative Writing workshop was facilitated by Anne Schuster, a filmmaking workshop producing oral history stories for film by Bridget Thompson and a radio workshop producing oral history stories for radio by Regané Claasen, of IDASA Democracy Radio. The training course was funded by the Ford Foundation, Southern African Office.

Standing: Vuyiswa Joyce Nomxhego, Nzuzo Qaji, Bulelwa Mashumpela, Noel van Vuuren and Phatheka. Seated: Tutu Nyongwana and Shiam Appolis. Absent: Feroza Kader and James Claasen.

Trainees from 2002, 2003 and 2004 participated in an International Storytelling Jamboree held at the Centre of the Book on 2 November 2004.

2005: T H Barry Theatre, South African Natural History Museum, Cape Town and Saartjie Baartman Centre, 35 trainees

In 2005, we ran a unique training course for human rights NGOs and CBOs on conceptualizing and developing Public Service Announcements (PSA’s) for their organisations. PSA’s are short, clear social messages delivered to listening (radio) or viewing (TV broadcast) audiences in 30, 45 or 60 seconds.

Morgan Marcus and Amelia Thompson, HRMC interns from the School for International Training (SIT), conducted the research to access NGO interest in PSA training. Their research showed that many NGOs had had filmmakers making their PSAs, but that the relationship had been limited, unbeneficial and most had not seen the final product submitted to the Vuka Awards.

Therefore, the objective behind this training was to develop capacity within NGOs to conceptualise their PSAs to enable them to engage with filmmakers as partners in the development of their PSAs for submission to the VUKA Awards or for other uses.

Sponsored by the Multichoice Africa Foundation, Vuka Awards are designed to inspire and build our country; to this end filmmakers must produce PSA’s that support social issues. A spin-off is that 30% of the best entries receive free publicity on DSTV Africa channels.

The training was held over two days, on 28th June at the T H Barry Theatre at the South African Natural Museum, and the follow-up workshop on 19 July at the Saartjie Baartman Centre. Thirty-five participants from 16 NGO’s participated including: the Open Democracy Advice Office (ODAC), Western Cape Blind Association (WEBA), AIDC, Big Issue, Institute for Healing of Memories, Bipolar Support Group, South African New Economics (SANE), Saartjie Baartman Centre, Amy Biehl Foundation Trust, Mandlovu Development Trust, Khulumani Support Group (KSG), The Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD), Sex Worker's Education and Advocacy Task Team (SWEAT), Refugees Group, RAPCAN and DELTA.

On 28 June, Julia Coghlan, of Gecko Communications, and Eli Binikos, of Multichoice Vuka Awards, presented many award winning PSA’s for discussion under the headings: the message; the emotive and factual content and the balance of these two elements; the use of sound effects, music and narration to convey the message; the visual component including the location(s), character(s), the script or lack of it, additional visual referencing used to convey the message; and, whether humour, shock, dramatisation, surprise, substitution, contrast and pulling heartstrings was used and how effectively.

The afternoon session was facilitated by the HRMC where participants discussed how PSA’s can benefit their organisations and overcoming obstacles they may encounter. Participants’ assignment was to develop a PSA collectively within their organisations deciding what and how they want to convey including: the storyboard, sound effects, music and narration, location and characters, and the NGO information to be conveyed at the end of the PSA.

These concepts were presented at the follow-up workshop on 19 July facilitated by John Tindall.A creative designer from the Jupiter Drawing Room which has won many Vuka Awards, gave valuable feedback to participants.

The Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD), Saartjie Baartman Centre, Institute for Healing of Memories and the Amy Biel Foundation submitted their PSA’s to Multichoice Vuka Awards in September. Regretfully none of them won an award.

Alison Tilley presents ODAC's concept to the workshop.

Feedback from participants of this low-budget training initiative funded by the Ford Foundation Southern African Office was that it was enjoyable; it took participants out of their comfort zones to think creatively about raising awareness, marketing and fundraising.

2006 and 2007: HRMC offices, Kenilworth, 5 trainees

The HRMC training in 2006 and 2007 was dedicated to developing capacity among Western Cape Blind Association (WEBA) members towards the successful implementation of the Out of Darkness Project. The course, held on Saturdays from November - December 2006 and in February 2007, focused on research and how to edit oral history interviews to stories. Trainees worked on four life history interviews of people with the Condition of Albinism and edited them to the first and second edits. The trainees included: Bonita Blankenberg, Margie Lewis, Avril Hoepner, Nzuzo Qaji and Bomani Xesi. The first book in a series of four dealing with stories of the South African blind will be published in 2009.

2008: HRMC Office in Kenilworth, 9 trainees

This four-month long Oral history and Creative Documentation Training Course held at the HRMC's office was designed for Africa Contact partners for the Cape Flats Youth Our Stories Project. Participants were drawn from the Western Cape Advice Office Association, Elsiesrivier Advice Office, Young Women's Chapter of the New Women's Movement, Molo Songololo, Youth for Change and the HRMC.

The Oral history and Creative Documentation Training Course Modules included: Oral History facilitated by Gerard Ralphs, Research, Media Ethics and Photography were facilitated by the HRMC, Visual Literacy by Sonya Hamilton and the HRMC, Drawing by Dathini Mzayiya and Conor Ralphs and Creative Writing by Malika Ndlovu.

Back row: Andiswa Magazi, Althia Lewis, Phumla Matshaya, Marliska 'Penny' Tobias, Saania Laarney. Front row: Alexis Smith, Shirley Gunn, Conor Ralphs, Ursula Bushula. Photograph by Theophellus Yanta.
2009

Some of the trainees of 2008 are undergoing specialized training in film, art, craft, and photography so they can contribute to the Cape Flats Youth Our Stories Project which has a book and exhibition outcome in 2010. The Training in 2008 and 2009 is funded by Operation in a Days Work which is administered by Africa Contact, in Denmark.

 
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