Harnessing the potential of digital stories in Kenya
Digital storytelling is a powerful tool that enables the children and families we work with in Kenya to share their stories globally. Combining drawings, images, audio, videos, music and animation, children create a short video on an iPad about their lives. The accessible nature and endless creative possibilities of digital storytelling means it is a well suited method for engaging children. Through these stories, children and families are able to express their opinions and ideas for the changes they would like to see in their own lives. This is why I was pleased to participate – along with other colleagues from Family – in our training on Digital Storytelling in Russia this month.
Digital storytelling is not only about creating change at the policy or global level, it is also therapeutic. By enabling children to open up about their individual experiences – some rather painful – digital storytelling allows them to share their emotions. It is the beginning of a healing process.
During the training, I learned to express my emotions and experiences through drawings in a safe setting. I am now eager to replicate this experience with the children that Udungu Society of Kenya works with. Talking about past experiences and sharing their emotions will help the children to motivate their family members to address the problems they face.
Not only will the digital stories improve understanding within the family of the children’s individual issues but it will also allow the family to work through shared past experiences and emotions. This will help parents and children articulate some of the challenges that our care workers may not be able to identify during their interactions with the families.
The training has been a great opportunity and I am looking forward to working with digital storytelling in Kenya. Children will tell their stories the best way they can in their own language, which I am sure will ultimately help improve their life within their family.