Tag Archives: Kenya

Lots of joy at the Kids for Peace School of Kenya!

Children’s Storytelling in Video: Kids for Peace School of Kenya

Lots of joy at the Kids for Peace School of Kenya!

Lots of joy at the Kids for Peace School of Kenya!

I took a short hiatus from kid’s books to focus on another form of children’s storytelling that fills my heart: video. I’m so excited to share my latest project about the Kids for Peace School of Kenya, which was 100% funded BY KIDS! Video has been such a powerful way to get kids inspired to act from their hearts. I just love it.

I shot my first video in Kenya last year and absolutely fell in love with the form. This year I’ve come to enjoy incorporating everything I know about story and structure. And there is nothing better than reliving these joyful experiences during the editing process!

I’ll continue to write kids’ books, as I love those, too, and am working on a picture manuscript this fall. But, I’m so happy to have opportunities to get videos like this one into schools through The Great Kindness Challenge by Kids for Peace. Nothing fulfills me more than being a part of a movement that empowers kids to be their true, compassionate, benevolent selves. Enjoy!

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We Have the Land for the New Kids for Peace School of Kenya!

12552533_10153191245146268_650571767318529252_nLast May, I went to Kenya with Kids for Peace to shoot video of a young child, Magi, to be shown in schools during this year’s Great Kindness Challenge to raise money for a pre-primary school in Magi’s village, Mikei. We had an epic year at The Great Kindness Challenge with over 5,000,000 participating students! The donations from these students has allowed Kids for Peace to purchase the land, and we are only just beginning.

This whole project has been one of my favorite of my adult life, from introducing me to a new favorite form of storytelling (video shooting and editing), to allowing me the chance to get to know the warm and joyful people of Mikei, and for showing me the magnitude of good that people can do when they unite for a common cause.

I cannot wait to return to Kenya this summer to shoot the follow-up footage of Mikei’s new school to share with you and all of the children who helped raise the money. In the meantime, if you’ve not yet seen Magi’s story, check out the video here!

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A New Form of Storytelling in Kenya!

Magzi quickly discovered that selfies are hilarious.

Magzi quickly discovered that selfies are hilarious.

I have so many exciting things to share, but perhaps the most exciting for me is my recent trip to Kenya. I had the pleasure of going there with Kids for Peace, who is donating a pre-primary school to the village of Mikei with the help of the kids who will participate in the 2016 Great Kindness Challenge.*

Though she's goofing off in this picture, it's common in Magzi's village to for kids to carry large buckets of water on their heads.

Though she’s goofing off in this picture, it’s common in Magzi’s village for kids to carry large buckets of water on their heads.

As a storyteller, I was particularly thrilled with my assignment: to film a day-in-the-life of a wonderful, funny and joyful 10-year-old girl, Magzi. The purpose of the video will be to share her story with kids across the world so they can donate coins for her school during The Great Kindness Challenge in January. Last year, over 2,000,000 students participated, and that number is growing. Magzi’s current school moves from vacant building-to-building, and has few desks and text books. I am confident that Magzi and her 160 classmates will have a beautiful new school with books and furniture and many of the other things on her wish list by next summer.

The best part of this project is giving Magzi a platform to use her voice and to be heard. I am a passionate believer in the necessity of exposing kids to diverse stories so they may expand their worldview and cultivate empathy. I would never write Magzi’s story; it is hers and hers alone. All she needs is the audience, and I am doing my best to remain a silent facilitator.

This is my first video of this kind, and I am truly hoping that I can create it in a way that captures the beauty of Mikei, and the radiance of the children who live there. They made it as easy a possible. The footage is gorgeous, and I cannot wait to share it!

Magzi and her friends in their current school yard.

Magzi and her friends in their current school yard.

 

 

 

 

 

*The Kindness Challenge is a movement that encourages schools to devote one week each school year to performing as many acts of kindness as possible using a checklist of 50 suggestions. It’s free, fun, and transformational. Sign up your school here!