Since October 2016 I am doing my European volunteering service in the association of Idrissa Badji, ADIF, in charge within it’s WebTV of the communication for their projects of international mobility, formation and aid to North-South cooperation, in the facets of video creation, graphic design, web design, etc …
It had been a while I was mulling the option of going out as a volunteer, and France was my main destination, for my interest in the country, in finding a job here, and also to expand my possibilities in the search of work in Canada, being able to speak its 2 official languages. After an initial shock due to linguistic problems (I assumed that here I could relate to almost everyone in English, and I discovered that no, in the neighboring country the use of English is at a level similar to ours), I am already able to have a conversation in French, although I continue with my efforts to improve my level day by day.
As part of this one-year project, I have had the great fortune to do a 9 day trip to Dakar (Senegal), mainly i was at the peripheral district of Guédiawaye, where there are 6 French volunteers sent by us doing their “Service Civique” and whose associations i went to pick up their requests for help in communication issues, whether poster making, logo design, promotional videos, web pages, and, taking advantage of my stay, i started this documentary project to promote ADIF as a sending and receiving association of volunteers, as well as the work carried out by our partners in the african country.
There I met a tremendously kind and open people, eager to share everything they have, and at the same time, to know my history. A new way of seeing life, a new way of eating (Although, due to its limitations by religion, arable land and others, with not much variety) and in short, new customs that have extended even more my way of looking at the world.
Perhaps for being the associations where I spent more time knowing how they work, the ones that more came to my heart were community radio Railbi Fm, the Omar Laye center where Hugo serves as basketball coach for children of a variety of ages in addition to the wheelchair team and above all, the school center Keur Khaleyi, where they receive children from families who can’t afford going to school, or children who have been removed from the education system for other reasons, as far as evening classes for adults who didn’t go to school, a center that works every day of the week with a fully dedicated team.
It also allowed me to discover my first baobab, a tree that has fascinated me since I was a child, probably since my mother read me “The little prince”.
We continued filming on my return, already in Cognac, with our day to day in the association, and after a few weeks of material selection, editing and post-production (thanks to my partner África for her help with such beautiful text frames!), a few days ago, the result of my trip is already available.
The experience has been very rewarding, a little bit hard for moments being my first “Facing danger alone” project , having to take care of everything, but of great help to continue evolving in my competences of the audiovisual. I have been able to identify the problems and failures, mainly the lack of lighting equipment, not having recorded all the materials i would have wanted when i was editing it or the need for better organization when planning recordings and interviews. I also had to learn how to fight against the unexpected so as not to go too far from the initial idea that you planned in the pre-production document. But I am satisfied with the result.
As this has re-awakened my desire to make it, i‘m going to dust off the transmedia documentary project that came to me 4 years ago to see if I can start it.
I hope you like it :