Project Cape Town, February 2015
Between 3 and 21 February 2015, Volunteer Correct Foundation organised its inaugural project: “Project Cape Town”. The initial aim of the project was to create transparency in the Capetonian volunteer industry by making the industry the subject of short films and articles. The most innovative part of the plan lay in the financing of the project. The foundation decided to use the mechanism of the volunteer industry – financing projects with project donations of paying Western volunteers – and was able to attract 12 Dutch participants who were willing to buy into the idealistic project.
In Cape Town we found four local participants who were offered to join the media production course free of charge. This was done to put into practice the voluntourism philosophy of adding value by offering training and opportunities for curriculum building. An added advantage of including South African participants was that we could facilitate contextualized reporting. For this purpose, the project employed a full time local film maker as co-facilitator and assistant, and made use of the services of four more local film makers as guest lecturers. By including the Dutch participants in the film makers’ experiences of the South African production context, we were able to promote discussion about culture and production ethics and therefore produce films and articles that reflected the critical meeting of cultures. They show a wide range of perspectives on the volunteering industry in Cape Town.
Apart from being trained in camera work, production and editing, the participants were largely responsible for the research prior to ‘Project Cape Town’s commencement. The resulting videos and articles that were made by the participants have largely been released on our website and through our network of media partners. This process is to continue in the months prior to the release of the documentary “Making a Difference”. This documentary follows the build up of the project and will be released later in 2015.
By supplying transparency and raising awareness, we can be a catalyst for change. The program is embedded in the academic insights that are state of the art in contemporary media. We invite you to show your critical thinking skills and we encourage self-reflection.
Project Cape Town is likely to be followed by a second project in early 2016, targeting a different international volunteerig destination. This is the video we made last year to find volunteers for Project Cape Town. Would you have joined? Come with us next year to our next project! Keep an eye on this space, or contact the foundation via info [at] volunteercorrect.org.
This post is also available in nl_NL.