A group of 20 girls from disadvantaged backgrounds across Kenya have embarked on a unique weeklong training, on video and movie-making skills, organised by Longman Kenya Limited in collaboration with The Pierson Foundation.
The training started on Friday July 25 and ends on Friday August I. A graduation ceremony will take place on the last day.
The girls have been drawn from Marsabit, Nyeri, Nakuru, Kakamega, Nairobi and Mombasa. They have been chosen by the participating partners namely Kenya Girl Guides Association (KGGA) and Fawe Kenya.
Dubbed The Sara Digital Arts Programme (SADAP), the project aims at harnessing the power of popular entertainment to promote youth issues and empower young people in a provocative and appealing manner. It is based on the popular Sara comics, readers and videos.

Girls undergo training
Girls undergo training

SADAP is a project of the Sara Communication Initiative (SCI), a multi-media communication initiative developed by UNICEF in 1994 to promote adolescent issues in Africa.
The character of Sara is modeled on the typical African girl child who faces several challenges, including Female Genital Mutilation, child labour, early marriages, sexual exploitation, HIV/Aids among others.
The only difference is that Sara is able to confront her various challenges and turn them into opportunities. Like Sara, these girls have undergone similar experiences. During the training the girls used Sara’s storylines make movies based on their personal life experiences.
SADAP project works with girls who have limited access to resources and helps them develop lifeskills in communications, and hence build their confidence.
The girls were taught using Adobe Premier editing software, which professional moviemakers use to make documentaries and short films.
Apart from Kenya, the other countries participating in the project are Tanzania, Ethiopia, Botswana and Ghana.
Their next phase, which will take place next year, will see them work with girls in Zambia, Nigeria and Uganda. Mr Kakai Karani, Longman Kenya’s general manager says that in order to make the project locally sustainable, they have donated a mobile media lab, which will be used to train other girls.
The media lab consists of Laptops, and cameras. “Ideally we target an organisation like the Kenya Girl Guides Association, which works with girls and has the desired network around the country,” explains Mr Karani.
The first phase saw 20 girls undergo the same training in May this year. The girls who participated in Phase One are now deemed digital arts mentors. Some of them were invited back to help facilitate Phase Two.
Ten students from the Second phase, were trained as student mentors on how to run programs on their own.

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