As an undergraduate at Elon University, I was involved with the Periclean Scholars program, which is an academic based service learning program that is committed to raising the level of civic engagement and social responsibility throughout the entire university community. Students are inducted into the Periclean Scholars program during their first year and are assigned to a country of focus, which they spend the next three years studying. Students take a series of academic courses, culminating in a class project of global social change.
As a member of the Periclean Scholars Class of 2017 with focus in Namibia, my class took on the project of creating a documentary that aimed to increase awareness about solutions to food security in Namibia. As one of only two Communications majors in the cohort, I spearheaded the project, having the opportunity to travel to Namibia with two other students twice to collect content. (A special thanks to the Park Foundation for giving us a grant that made this project possible.)
After applying for and receiving our grant, we had a few months to do as much research as possible, begin making travel arrangements, and sort out our camera equipment, including the purchase of a DJI drone and DSLR gimbal.
Our first trip to Namibia was in June 2016. We were there for about 10 days and spent time in Windhoek (the capital), Oshakati, and Bwabwata National Park.
Our second trip to Namibia was in January 2017. With another 10 days on the ground, we spent more time in Windhoek and even made our way to Swakopmund, a city on the Atlantic coast. The majority of our time was spent in Bwabwata National Park, where we fostered strong relationships and identified a story that we wanted to tell and the people wanted to share.
With ample content from both trips, we had about 3 months to piece together our story into a feature-length documentary.
Feature-length film, titled The Omega Project, is a documentary highlighting the collaboration and accomplishments of individuals, grassroots organizations, and governmental entities that are exploring possibilities to increase food security in the African nation of Namibia. The film was premiered on Elon University's campus in the brand new Turner Theater in April 2017 to an audience of friends, family, students, and faculty. The Omega Project has since been submitted to film festivals.