Films and animations are created every year by the groups we work with in Community Media projects. We also use film as a creative way of documenting our work, to evaluate the work that we do, and we also use it in mixed artform projects and live performance projects.
A new ‘Girl Talk’ initiative, building skills, cultural connections and positive role models for girls – developed with a first exchange visit for Valley and Vale Community Arts and Gem TV to Maji Moto in Kenya. Together we aimed to research and learn about each others’ communities, and explore the possibilities of developing mutually beneficial projects.
Skilled Community Artists from Valley and Vale Community Arts and Gem TV in Ethiopia began workshops in digital storytelling and film production with girls and staff at Enkiteng Lepa School, to enable the Maasi girls and women to create stories to share with the Betws Community in Wales, and with Women’s Aid in Bridgend to develop their new link. This new exciting project aimed to contribute towards the UN Millennium development Goals.
Enkiteng Lepa School
The short film Voices of Ethiopia was made by Valley and Vale Community Arts and Gem TV our partners in Ethiopia to document three Wales/Ethiopia link projects.
Together with Craig Owen programmes manager for Wales Africa Community Links.We visited the Labata Fantalle project. Labata Fantalle is an organisation that has been established by Karrayyu pastoralists in the Rift Valley of Ethiopia, where we looked at some of the projects that Wales/Africa has supported www.labatafantalle.org. Support for Labata Fantalle is provided by Labata Fantalle Cymru, a non profit organisation based in the South Wales Valleys.
Then we travelled down to the South of Ethiopia to the coffee growing area of Yirgacheffe where there is a link project with Abergavenny www.abergavenny-yirgacheffe-link.co.uk
Back in Addis we filmed some of the Community Arts projects, Gem Art, and Adugna, part of the Gemini Foundation, that Valley and Vale are linked with.
The film celebrates the value of link projects.
Voices of Ethiopia: Wales Africa Community Links
The project ‘Where are the Boys?’ was a collaboration between Valley and Vale Community Arts and Barnardo’s Cymru Seraf Service, which works with vulnerable young people who are at risk of or involved in Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). Our project ‘Where are the Boys?’, funded by Children in Need, made us aware that sexual abuse is still such a taboo subject for boys. The aim of the project was to identify and work with vulnerable young boys at risk of sexual exploitation in a way that would enable them to talk about their experiences and raise awareness of the risks attached to sexual exploitation. This was combined with the ethos and values of Person-Centred Creativity, which is based on a belief in creativity as a powerful tool for individual and social change.
We were trying to find ways to reach more boys, raise awareness and engage them into a creative and therapeutic dialogue. Through the use of art, music, poetry, songs and films, the boys were encouraged to talk about relationships, both healthy and unhealthy, expectations of boys in relationships, peer pressure and the risks of child sexual exploitation. Some of their artwork was exhibited for one month at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay in February 2015.
In Partnership with Barnardo’s Seraf Service, at the early stages of the work, we used creativity to raise awareness of sexual exploitation at the Health and Well Being Conference at Fitzalan High School in Cardiff. During the day we worked with more than 100 boys. Sexual exploitation is a very difficult subject to approach especially with teenage boys and we are also aware that some of the young people in the sessions might be affected and so we made sure that we had enough staff present to talk to individuals; as part of the sessions we signposted to organisations and people who can help.
'Where Are The Boys?' CSE Project
This programme continued to go from strength to strength, with a wide range of training courses delivered throughout the year under the Social Care Workforce Development Programme, and working with managers and care staff teams in Day Services, Residential and Domiciliary settings. We also worked with adults with mental health issues and a wide range of groups. Feedback comments made on course evaluations included:
‘An outstanding course, learned a lot about myself and how to move forward with confidence.’
‘Thoroughly enjoyed the course ,refreshing and looking forward to adapting to include in working practice.’
‘The best training I have attended in a very long time–truly inspirational.’
‘Fabulous, meaningful, non – structured, fun, fun, fun .’
‘Enjoyed the 3 days, did things I never would have thought of doing .’
‘It was the best training I have ever been on.’
‘I am really enthusiastic about taking and using a lot of this in the workplace.’
‘Very good for team building’
We can tailor our Person-Centred Creativity training courses to meet the needs of a wise range of user groups, from Social Care Worker staff teams, Community Artists, Health (inc. Mental Health) Workers, Voluntary and Public Sector Workers, and mixed groups. This feedback gives us proven evidence that this training, which we have developed over many years, gives participants a positive learning experience as well as personal and professional development tools.
The areas that participants tell us they have found useful include: understanding the relationship between creativity and wellbeing; innovative working; experiential group work; creating safe environments, and designing, implementing and evaluating creative programmes.
PCC Silent Animation
We took part in this partnership event, working with with Barnardo’s Cymru, and sponsored by Deputy Minister for Health Vaughan Gething, AM. The event took place on Tuesday 3rd February 2015 at the Pierhead Building in Cardiff, and included music, dance and drama by young people sharing their experiences of growing up, their relationships, and the dangers of sexual exploitation. This is part of a programme of work with Barnardo’s Cymru Seraf Service in association with the Cardiff Council Cultural Scheme, The Arts Council of Wales, the Welsh Government, South Wales Police and Bawso.
As part of our ‘Building Bridges’ project funded by Cardiff Council we then planned to take the play ‘What’s Happening Frankie?‘ to schools across the community to raise awareness of sexual exploitation, to listen and to improve dialogue between young people, and people working in education, health and social care, and criminal justice.
'What's Happening Frankie' Launch Event
In November 2014 we worked in partnership with Barnardo’s Cymru Seraf Service facilitating the ‘Hear Our Voice’ event which highlighted the risks of sexual exploitation of young people and provided an opportunity for young people we had been working with to exhibit their artwork and show short documentaries of their experiences. During this event young actor Brandon Ashford from Valley and Vale Community Arts re-enacted a monologue of a young man’s experience of sexual exploitation. The monologue followed the real life story of a young man who was sexually exploited by the mother of one of his friends and challenged the concepts of perpetrators always being male and the idea that only girls and young women experience sexual exploitation.