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Film to raise awareness on child care legislation

The Ombetja Yehinga Organisation (OYO) Trust, together with Save the Children, Sweden and the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) is embarking on a new project to create awareness about the new Child Care and Protection Bill and how the Bill, should it be passed as law, would help improve the lives of thousands of Namibian children.
Six talented young writers, Metho Gawanab, Billy Jagger, Clive Mamhare, Lydia Ndhikwa, Selma Ndhikwa and Margaret Nelenge attended a writing workshop. The children were invited to share   their stories on which a film will be based. Using real life situations as a starting point, the writers developed four stories looking at how the new Bill would change the outcome and improve the lives of children.
“The Bill is all about child participation. Magistrates and social workers will constantly have to ask themselves what is the best interest of the child. It acknowledges that each situation is unique, each child is unique and that children have got voices,” explains Dr Philippe Talavera, who will produce the film.
Out of the four stories, two have been selected and developed as pilot projects. Potentially, it could become a series with some protagonists such as the magistrate and social worker linking the different episodes. But ultimately it focuses on children and their stories.
“We undertook a large-scale audition to identify children. Eight have been selected to be part of the first two episodes. They are now undergoing training. They are incredibly talented and will bring life to those characters,” said Talavera.
The children currently undergoing training include Denzel Karupa, Bianca Garises, Matthew Taapopi, Silas Amwele, Desire Oatohotse, Tobias Naushanga, Kadja Beukes and Brian Hangua. They will be joined by veteran actors Anna Louw, Josef Molapong, David Ndjavera, Elise de Wee, Tanya Terblanche and Mike Nghipunya. Shooting for the film will start in May, during the school holidays.
“This is really a production to look forward to. Namibian children have a strong voice and lots to tell us. This film will give them an opportunity to express themselves,” Talavera added.
Rehearsals and training are currently happening thanks to support from the Goethe Centre. The project also received support from Namibia Breweries Limited’s “Too young is too young” campaign against under-age drinking.

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