Hope Fostered in Connections
In December, we solidified a partnership with Savannah College of Art & Design Film Department. We approached SCAD for their support in helping us to better share our story, create a new lead video for the website, and film CIH participants - but, especially the children - sharing about our impact. Ken Daniel identified a Director, Carter McCormick, who expressed a real desire to contribute to our project by producing a short documentary. Trey Barth was then added to the team for photography. We are thrilled to be working together on this exciting endeavor with these talented graduate students. Here are some of their reflections to date.
Working with Children Inspiring Hope has already been an incredible experience for me. The moment we walked into the first U.S. classroom, before we even started, I knew the program was having a great impact on the children involved just by the looks on their faces. I honestly thought that the concepts CIH dealt with would be hard for a child to understand, but boy was I wrong. Hearing these young kids eloquently speaking about what it meant to be a steward of the earth blew my mind. It just shows me the power of a child to feel and understand. Children Inspiring Hope gets children thinking about important questions at a such young age and I sincerely believe that it will turn out to be a formative experience for them. Imagine what could happen if we could get an entire generation pondering on these issues.
I can already tell you from being in the classroom and watching videos that our film is going to be a great success simply because of the content. In the film we are aiming to highlight the connection that the children are making with one another. I'm beyond excited to travel to Ghana and see the other side of this coin. Thank you for having me on board for this project. Working with such an incredible organization is a privilege.
Post-Ghana Volunteering & Filming
The people in Ghana were extremely open and engaging. There was an occasional language barrier between our team and some of the Ghanaians. One thing that really stuck out to me was their willingness to communicate even when communication proved to be impossible. The true value of communication, and therefore understanding, is highlighted in that challenge of a cross-cultural exchange. It can be frustrating, but alluded to the greatest truth I found while working with Children Inspiring Hope in Ghana. We were trying to see into one another for understanding. Put individuals from different backgrounds, circumstances, and cultures together, and what happens? I experienced a need, not a want, to understand and it was repetitively reciprocal.
Children Inspiring Hope is bringing this experience to children around the world; an outlet to relate, to understand, and to learn from one another. At times I thought it was unbelievable what a small group of volunteers were accomplishing by connecting these children. I realized that making connection wasn't the real prize; it was what that connection could foster and the hope that inspires for the future.
Final filming of the U.S. reconnections will be occurring in April and May. A new video will be released first, of the children sharing the impact of participation in Children Inspiring Hope. This summer, editing will happen for the short documentary on the work. Stay tuned for more updates, and the exciting release of our story.