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Digital Storytelling empowers and liberates students
2014-10-17

In January 2014, Jode Brexa, an American Fulbright scholar, came to our university and moved into the guest room at Welwitschia residence.

It so happened that Brexa and Elize Rall, residence head of Welwitschia – better known as Wel-Wel – started talking about digital storytelling. Brexa’s Digital Storytelling project captured Rall’s imagination. Shortly thereafter, Brexa convinced the RC members of Wel-Wel to participate in the project.

Digital storytelling is, on the most basic level, the use of computer-based resources to tell stories. The idea is to combine the art of storytelling with multimedia – including graphics, photos, text, audio, image and/or music.

The Wel-Wel students were taught storytelling skills and each student’s unique story was recorded and edited. It was so successful that they then showed their stories to the Rector and Dean of Students. Brexa will now – with their permission – take their stories to America with her, where she will share it with her community.

During the weekend of 10–12 October 2014, the RC of Wel-Wel introduced 12 learners, who are currently in Grade 10 at the Christiaan Liphoko School, to the project. The learners stayed in the gazellie for the weekend and, in the course of a few days, learned how much power is locked up in their personal stories. They learned that everyone’s story has the power to inspire and empower.

Wel-Wel has been involved in various outreach projects to the community. However, this was the first time that Wel-Wel literally brought the community to their doorstep. This is also not a charitable project. It is uplifted students reaching out to the youth to empower them in order to empower others in turn.

Meanwhile, Brexa also linked the project to the university’s Schools Partnership Project. The programme works through mentorship programmes to uplift previously disadvantaged schools. Hands were also taken with Columba Leadership NGO – financed by Old Mutual.

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