"Make a Difference" Project Inspires Social Change
Xchange Perspectives e.V. (XcP) partners with organisations across West Africa to train 36 filmmakers in Media for Peace, culminating in six inspiring short films that capture the essence of activism and community engagement.
A participant of the Media for Peace training.
Photo: XcP | Leila Bendra-Lehnert
MUNICH – In 2019, Xchange Perspectives e.V. (XcP) embarked on the "Make a Difference" project, in collaboration with Weltfilme e. V., University of The Gambia, NAEAL Liberia, SLADEA Sierra Leone, and YMCA Ghana, receiving financial support from Brot für die Welt and the German Federal Government. The project aimed to empower West African filmmakers to create impactful short films that would inspire social change in their communities.
Facilitated by XcP's Leila Bendra and Sebastian Prams, filmmakers from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Liberia, and The Gambia were trained in the core principles of Media for Peace. Leila focused on the training of trainers in Media for Peace, while Sebastian taught camera work and film editing. Both Leila and Sebastian provided guidance and technical assistance during the finalisation of the films, ensuring the integration of Media for Peace values such as Unity, Diversity, Transcendence, Empathy, and Commitment.
The 36 aspiring filmmakers produced six short films that explored themes of democracy, human rights, environmental justice, and entrepreneurship. These stories, told through both documentary and fiction formats, aimed to prompt reflection on the role of individuals in effecting positive social change.
The films produced during the project are available online, on DVD and have been showcased on television and in pop-up cinema tours throughout Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, and Togo, as well as in numerous film festivals. Through the power of storytelling, the "Make a Difference" project successfully highlights the importance of activism and community engagement in driving social change in West Africa.
The "Make a Difference" project is part of a larger initiative to establish a media center and film school in Accra, where Ghanaian film instructors will teach courses for YMCA Ghana, thus perpetuating the impact of the project and fostering future generations of socially conscious filmmakers.