We were introduced to Participatory Video in July 2007 and feel in love, especially the worldview that it emanates. After a year of exploration we evaluated our experience and determined that PV was for us. This lead us on to a visioning exercise and forming our Hub here in Durban, South Africa, officially constituted on the 23rd December 2008.
We are not filmmakers doing social media, but developmental workers seeking to make a difference in the lives of the marginalised. We are community activists seeking a new world that will be inheritable to our children – advocating for social and environmental justice.
We are all working for the good of the Hub, within the framework of a Code of Conduct that defines boundaries. For us relationship is primary this is the wellspring from which a shared vision and professional practice flows. We have invested our personal energy into building a supportive environment that is democratic and transparent. We apply a teamwork approach to our work that has a Core Team of interdependent freelance Associates working as a collective, sharing roles and rotating functions – this team has an open doorway that allows others in, emerging from an expanding circle of emerging PV Supporters.
Neville and Hylton are the Drivers who work with the intention of building Community Based Management an expanded nucleus of committed people who share the responsibilities to foster and sustain an autonomous and accountable Social Enterprise, local people managing their own destiny.
The Learnership Programme
The development of Human Capital is foundational to our practice, skills development has yielded our success and is speeding our ability to confidently implement projects and provide services to others. We have designed a skills pathway that we are working with to grow our professionalism and refine a practice that has available highly skilled people, who have attitude, passion and are multi-skilled. Multi-skilling aspect is really important for us – it is much more than just knowing how to make a movie, we need to be able to organise and facilitate strategic interventions within Community. This calls us to be Champions of Change, going beyond filmmaking towards energising and facilitation of social action.
Our approach is – learning in doing – local youth enrol in our Career Pathway and participate in current projects as Volunteers. They advance through a series of stages and progress through the levels of learning from: Trainee to Supporter to Coach to Facilitator to Project Manager to PV Practitioner.
Our Hub does not have a pot of open funding; we have had to rely on our own resilience to make PV work for us, operating our affairs on the ethical business principals of fair-share and integrity. We have been compelled to provide services in exchange for money, within these kinds of projects the Client is more concerned about a product and the process is an add-on.
Work is sourced through our ongoing marketing motion; we have focused our attention on what potential opportunities are around us at a local level, especially Civil Society, because they really need to all be doing PV and because they could have small amounts of funding available.
Self-reliance is a Core Value of the Hub and an attitude we want to deepen and share. By providing services we are establishing a lifeline of income that strengthens our continuity; this is also providing us with useful learning experiences to sharpen our skills, building a track record and raising our profile in the public arena.
We have four remote sites in KwaZulu Natal all in early developmental stages: At Centocow a deep rural area, at Molweni a peri-urban settlement, at Inanda an urban township where our PV experience has its roots and at Amahlogwa a rural area south of Durban.
Our vision is to decentralise our work and spread PV as wide as possible creating a movement rather than an organisation. A network of self managing sites in surrounding communities, with local facilitators working with PV on the inside and supporting the Community to be responsive to their own challenges.
Is an overarching objective that is at work within us – we are emerged within a piloting process of defining what a Hub is? That will inform the global strategy of Insight Share to plant autonomous Hubs in a social network of mutual support.
The way our Hub is unfolding as a social enterprise is being documented for others to learn from and build on – a framework to replicate this success, seeding and sharing this experience is a driving force within us.
Click here to visit the Bamb'umlilo hub website