Over 1,000 school children attended two days of screenings at the British Council. They previewed films from local film makers on the environment and films from Denmark, part of a collaboration with Buster films to exchange films. The schools included He Reigns International School, Presec Staff School, Sacred Heart Technical Institute, De Youngsters School, Labone Senior High School, Base Ordinance School, Legion of Mary Youth Group, and Association Community International School. They once again engaged in spirited discussions about environmental degradation in their communities and in general about the water and sanitation situation in Accra. The children identified closely with the festival theme and lamented on its appropriateness to them as many lived in areas facing environment degradation and resultant environmental diseases like malaria, diarrhoea. They spoke of the challenges they encountered in their daily lives in their communities which served as breeding grounds for environmental diseases including cholera, malaria. They made a direct linkage to poor sanitation and malaria as captured aptly in one of the premiering films from the Young Film Makers’ Workshop. As usual, the discussions were lively and interactive. Many of the students found the sessions particularly hilarious and a fun way of learning. The films were combined with drama and musical performances. And a best Environmental Dancer was awarded. EFFA awarded some students with prizes comprising educational materials and books donated by EPP Books Services. Specially selected environmental films for young people were screened. These included Fantastic in Plastic, Ghana’s Plastic Waste Menace, both Creative Storm Productions; Nature, a documentary film about nature, animal life and movement in Denmark and films produced from the Young Film Makers Workshops over the years.
The children were also refreshed by Indomie, Voltic and Nestle Ghana. We are most grateful to them and the sponsors of this vital component of the festival. EFFA considers the Children’s Daytime Screenings a vital component of the festival. A core objective of EFFA is to use the powerful medium of film to educate and raise awareness about environmental issues through film. We are able to achieve this objective and receive instant feedback from the interactive sessions that occur. The Schools Screenings has grown each year and we continue to receive approaches from many more schools than we can safely accommodate. We are restricted by budget and logistics every year. While we seek to engage more schools each year, we continue to work with the schools that we first started with. We have seen over the years the increased awareness and interests in those children, some of who have started recycling at their schools, clean up campaigns in their local communities etc. We therefore distribute EFFA films widely to other schools, groups and communities who are not able to attend the festival. We support various communities in festivals etc by providing films. We distribute all the children films on DVD to participants of the Young Film Makers Workshop, their school, the Environmental Protection Agency for their community outreach programs and online to various social media sites. In this way we are able to reach even wider audiences and thereby have an even greater impact.