The Aegis Trust organised a two day workshop at the Kigali Genocide Memorial earlier this month with a focus on storytelling as part of the Healing Communities Programme. The workshop gathered young peace champions from across the country to learn how to promote peace in their communities through film and photography.
Speaking at the training, Didier Rutagungira, Communications Officer at Aegis Trust, encouraged participants to create stories that promote positive values and contribute to building a more peaceful society.
“We are giving you skills to go back to your communities and tell stories that can inspire others to live in harmony and as young people you need tell these stories because if you don’t, no one else will,” he said.
On the first day of the training, participants were introduced to how a story is built, how facts and narratives are combined to create a story that resonates as well as basics on operating a camera. The second day was dedicated to video editing. For each session, the enthusiastic trainees were given time to practice the skills learned.
Hope Ishimwe, 20, from Bugesera District, thanked the Aegis Trust for the opportunity as she has had an interest in filmmaking but couldn’t afford such training.
“As a volunteer in community policing, I hope the skills I learnt here will help me promote peace in this digital era. The love for film has become an inseparable part of the life of young people in Rwanda. If they can get hooked on these action movies, there is no doubt they will also enjoy real stories of peace from their fellow citizens,” said Hope.
Gerard Hatangimana, 25, from Gicumbi District, said:
“This programme is guaranteed to succeed. Lessons are easily grasped when they are delivered in a visual way. They make an impression and not easily forgotten,” said Gerard.
Aegis Trust Youth Coordinator, Marc Gwamaka, led the training and said the outcomes of the workshop will leave an impact on Rwandan society. By July 2017, with continued support from Aegis Trust and partners, the trainees will create 42 videos, and the best videos will be selected and promoted for bigger productions. The Healing Communities programme is funded by USAID.
Since its launch in 2013, the Aegis Youth Programme has achieved impressive achievements. So far, 536 youth champions have started 182 projects across the country, including building shelters for vulnerable people, mobilising funds to pay school fees for children and sharing blogs that tell stories of peace building in their communities.