Children’s Voices Video Project

The short-form video series that Oxford Global Media filmed in Ethiopia was an innovative way of a disseminating Young Lives’ research about childhood in the developing world.

Each of the twelve one-minute films features a short commentary from a child or small group of children discussing their personal experiences of one of the research project’s themes. Inequality, access to education, nutrition and poverty are just a few examples.

Using local talent to film and edit the production, as well as an open-ended conversational technique for interviewing children, the project proves it possible to provide children with a platform to express their own experiences with minimal mediation and interpretation by foreign professionals.

In 13 year-old Desta’s film, the schoolgirl perfectly demonstrates the research project’s findings on the impact of economic insecurity on all aspects of low-income family life. Telling her own story, she says on camera:

There was a time when I got very poor grades at school. Because my parents are poor, I had no pen or any other educational materials. And there was a time when I didn’t have any decent clothes and felt ashamed to answer questions in the class, thinking that other students would laugh at me.

Our commitment to global voices has paid huge dividends and the films have demonstrated that Young Lives’ research findings reflect the real ‘lived’ experiences of African children.

The result is that a series of powerful testimonials communicate Young Lives research findings in a way no amount of policy briefs, academic papers or PowerPoint presentations can ever do.

The highly engaging videos have been helping disseminate Young Lives’ work by being aired and shared on social media as well as embedded in live presentations and online resources.

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