A couple of weeks ago I decided to fill an idle couple of hours on a rainy Sunday afternoon filming a video which we could send to the education projects supported by people and places volunteers. Quite a lot of volunteers have contributed to this initiative – we have videos of stories, demonstrations of simple Science experiments, even a walk round a farm to show children the animals. But so far we didn’t have a video of a volunteer actually teaching, or anything to do with art. Once a teacher, always a teacher – I decided to see what I could do. So I shut the cat out of the room, propped my phone up on the table, set it into selfie mode, and imagined myself back in the classroom. In my video I taught them children the names of the basic colours in English and showed them how they could mix different coloured paints to make all sorts of other colours. It was fun to do and didn’t take long. Here is the video I made:
I sent the video to our partners in Cambodia – Dara, the head-teacher is always happy to receive any videos we send and regularly uses them with his classes, both online and in their library lessons. Imagine how pleased I was to get a call and an email from him which included a short video he had made of the children at Treak watching my video and experimenting with colours themselves. Dara says:
Your color lesson is very interesting because my students now know how to make colors out of the primary colors from your formula. Moreover, to extend this experiment I asked them to mix more than 2 colors to see what color they get. Anyway, my students and I enjoyed this lesson so much.
He told me: ‘What I loved was that you were actually there in my classroom’. This is the video he sent me:
I know how difficult it has been for Treak during this year – it is now 9 months since they have been fully operational and they have done an amazing job at maintaining some form of education for their students during this time. I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to watch the video and be able to see children in Cambodia carrying out a learning activity I had demonstrated to them.
Making a video for people and places to send to our education projects around the world will cost £30, from January. We have discussed the introduction of this charge at length and hoped volunteers would still think it is a worthwhile thing to do. I can tell you that for me it was worth every penny, and more. I often make a charity donation at Christmas – I pay my money in and forget all about it. This was so different – being able to see that my video has made a small difference to those children’s education is worth its weight in gold.
We welcome videos from volunteers on a range of topics – stories, simple science experiments, maths activities, active learning strategies, language games, arts and crafts, music, drama …… the list is endless. You don’t have to be a teacher – just film yourself doing something you might do with your children or grandchildren, or something linked to one of your hobbies, or something about your everyday life. And you certainly don’t have to be a professional film-maker!
And we don’t just need videos appropriate for children. If you have business skills, basic healthcare skills, web design skills – we can use all of these too.
The links we are able to maintain between volunteers and the projects we support, even though we can’t travel there at the moment, are invaluable and so much appreciated – and you will know that you are doing something worthwhile too. Looking for a way to fill the long winter evenings while we are still living under Covid restrictions? – give it a go!