For the past six months, I have been working in collaboration with the Ponheary Ly Foundation in Siem Reap, Cambodia. After repeated successes here with short ‘Tell Your Own Story’ workshops in 2011-12, I returned to develop and deliver digital literacy and media production curriculum to the PLF-sponsored high school students. It’s been an incredible 1/ 2 year of experimenting with teaching visual storytelling and internet skills to these students in a dusty, corrugated tin-roofed classroom. And, it’s lead to my next project: Global Citizen Media.
This past week, temperatures were over 42 degrees celsius (110 degrees fahrenheit), but it didn’t diminish the enthusiasm in the room as we published, student by student, their first WordPress-based websites and blogs. Before pressing ‘Publish’ on each account, I asked the student, “Are you ready to share your ideas with the world?” “Yes,” each one answered. And after pressing, ‘Publish’, the room erupted in cheers. And the look of pride on the students will stay with me for a lifetime.
What I’m doing is not difficult. It only requires meeting the students where they are. The are eager. They are ready. They are capable. They just need a little bit of education around the technology, effective storytelling, and understanding a global audience. No matter where I lead them, they follow, and exceed my expectations every time. More on that later, but for now, I am asking for your support:
I want to commit another year to training Cambodian teachers and developing production skills for these young Cambodians. I want to expand the project to other locations and participants. You can help by making a tax-deductible donation to Global Citizen Media on my IndieGogo campaign page. All donations directly support my work. Please share the video and IndieGoGo campaign with friends.