One of the highlights of Global Cause Days at Horyou Village during the Cannes Film Festival was Education day on May 18.
The day’s events will include Round Table: The Hope of a Chosen Life, that will explore four amazing education-oriented projects. These varied projects converge toward one goal: empowering disadvantaged children by providing them with proper tools to discover their identities and potential, increase their confidence and take charge of their own choices and lives. All participants agree on the importance of developing long-term strategies that enhance the population’s autonomy and enable them to promote their educational projects.
– Georges Bwelle, surgeon at the central hospital of Yaoundé in Cameroon and founder of organization ASCOVIME (Association des Compétences pour une Vie Meilleure).
– Manare Motayb, a neurolinguistic programming coach who works in Cannes schools.
– Marco Nicoletti, movie writer and director, founder of the Rio Camera Kids project, which teaches children from a pacified favela to express their creativity and tell their stories with a camera.
– Jean- François Fournier, sport photographer involved with Roger Federer Foundation, who offers disadvantaged children from a South African township the opportunity to grow through the practice of sports.
Education raises various challenges depending on social and economic conditions of individual countries. In Cameroon, surgeon Georges Bwelle is convinced that education is the key for his country to move forward. Even though education is the main aim of ASCOVIME, Bwelle uses medicine as a strategy, a means to serve this educational goal while answering a concrete need of medical care in remote regions of Cameroon. Every weekend, he and a group of volunteers go to these regions and provide people with free medical care while encouraging families to invest in their kids’ education.
In Cannes, where children’s education is secured, Manar Motayb faces other challenges. As a coach and sophrologist, she accompanies kids through their personal development with relaxation, conflict resolution and stress management workshops so children can gain confidence as well as a better knowledge of themselves. She also provides communication tools through the practice of theater so children can interact and express themselves.
Marco Nicoletti surely shares Motayb’s vision, although his project is addressed to kids from the biggest favela of Rio, Rocinha. Even though this favela is now pacified, drug dealing and criminality are still realities for these children, who have developed their own culture through rap music and graffiti, as well as other forms of expression. His project Rio Camera Kids enables adolescents (14-20 years old) to develop their expressive capabilities in order to help them establish their own identity in a positive way. This also prepares them for the professional world, escaping the illegal economy.
Ten youngsters will produce and edit three-minute videos that will reflect their own personal view of the favela life and will be posted on a website in order to encourage debates about violence and the ways to prevent it. The process of teaching kids how to make a film will become part of a documentary on the favelas.
Jean-François Fournier knows the reality of slums as well. In South Africa, he lived in New Brighton Township of Port Elizabeth, where he shared the daily lives of children involved with Roger Federer Foundation. This foundation helps kids to grow through sports. Since the launch of the project, the foundation has built, in partnership with Nike, a sports complex and has trained local coaches for kids to have the opportunity to learn and gain confidence through sports.