About this site
Our Africa is an ambitious project which sets out to let children across Africa film their lives and countries the way they see them.
“This is a wonderfully simple and effective way to allow children from different countries and different cultures to communicate and break down barriers and boundaries. Children have the opportunity to share their hopes and aspirations, to compare their different lives and share their similarities. A project like this can't fail to inform and educate but in the most engaging and compelling of ways.”
Lee Hunter, Deputy Head Teacher at The Tiffin Girls’ School in London
“The beauty of ‘Our Africa’ is that it shows children in the UK the similarities between their own lives and children living in Africa. As well as showing the obstacles that many young people face living in Africa, it essentially shows young people with similar mindsets, ambitions, hopes and interests. It is a great learning tool.”
Dame Mary Richardson - President of SOS Children and a governor of the National College of School Leadership
“I am thrilled to support such a venture that educates, diminishes stereotypes and gives people a view of Africa, an incredible place that has never before been portrayed through the very children who live it.”
It was created by SOS Children (www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk), which is a global children's charity that cares for orphaned and abandoned children in 45 African countries. The children growing up in these SOS families, and the surrounding communities, seemed like a good springboard for the innovative project.
We started off by running a series of workshops with a professional cameraman across the continent, teaching a group of local children how to plan, script, shoot and edit a film. As well as skills, the children were left with a camera and video-editing equipment, together with a trained local youth leader to maintain a local 'filmmakers club'. Each workshop produced a video which the children had created from start to finish. The huge variation in the ideas they have for their videos is striking.
At the end of the workshop one or two of the children involved (ranging as young as seven to as old as 23) then took the cameras around their villages and communities, interviewing, talking, depicting their lives and proudly showing off the results to their friends.
In ‘Our Africa’ you can see some of these videos as the children talk about what matters most to them – from games they play; to aspirations they have for jobs; to how they would like things changed fundamentally in their societies (for example how men treat women). They talk about whatever they want to talk about – and as a result, we’ve collated a collection of videos which you should look through for yourself.
Whether you’re exploring African countries for the first time, or whether you’re a seasoned traveller to the continent, we hope you feel as privileged as we do to be invited into these children's worlds.
‘Our Africa’ celebrates the 40th anniversary of SOS Children’s work in the continent. As we visit more and more of the 50+ countries, and speak with still more children, the site will evolve. So we hope you’ll revisit it occasionally and see what’s new. Meanwhile, if you’d like to see more about what SOS Children does around the globe you’d be welcome on our website at: www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk
'Our Africa' supporters
We are grateful to SThree for support of SOS Children’s 40th anniversary in Africa by sponsoring the purchase of 40 FLIP cameras for the ‘Our Africa’ project. The video cameras are used by children in workshops and in their local communities, and one is left with each Village visited for their future use.
The donation of 11 return flights for the Our Africa team visits to our villages in Zambia, Ghana, Botswana, South Africa and Namibia, is gratefully acknowledged.