This week I spent three days in Grand Cayman to explore the opportunity to expand Film Annex initiative of Building schools to the Caribbeans. The Cayman Islands are known for its banking activities but for 200 young Caymans the reality is very different, juvenile crime is a real issue for the small community of 30,000 Cayman citizens and the only infrastructure to support the young men in trouble is The Bonaventure Boys Home, a safe home for disfranchised kids with criminal or behavioral issues, possibly due to lack of role models. Some people consider the Cayman Island a banking heaven, others look at its beautiful beaches and clear water, but the real treasure of this island it's the youth and its potential.
I met with the director of the center, Mr Williams, an American with great experience in the field of Juvenile rehabilitation in Washington DC, probably the toughest intercity in North America. Mr Wilson and his teachers gave us a tour of the facility where up to 10 kids are host when they need a point of reference or are part of their program. The kids are referred as clients and their identity is maintained confidential. The kids are monitored constantly and educated on important subjects including self esteem, respect and honesty, along with computer classes and other forms of more traditional education. The Bonaventure Boys Home is planning to expand to a 20 kids facility, but still not sufficient to cover the 200 kids needs.
Film Annex will supply its know-how to support The Bonaventure Boys Home for the installation of computers and digital media equipment including projector, screen, digital camera, audio recording system and editing software.
Like in Afghanistan, Film Annex mission is to empower young Caymans to learn the skills necessary to blog, write articles, film professional videos, interviews, films, and enter the world of the World Wide Web with tools for learning and, when appropriate, generate revenues. The students will have access to the Examer Educational Software and benefit of the same Micro Scholarship system established for Afghanistan. When the kids writing skills and Buzz Score achieve a professional level, they will be invited to enter The Annex Press narrow circle of professional writers and generate revenues based on free lance writing jobs for Film Annex and other clients.
We aim to create a team of cinematographers, editors, writers and directors so that The Bonaventure Boys Home can has a self efficient media team and produce content that can also support financially the young men involved and the center it-self; same principals of the Film Annex and the Afghan Development business model. In this case each component of the team will support and motivate the other members, so that in case the Writer gets lazy or distracted the Cinematographer or the Editor will bring him back to focus, as its also in their interest. The revenue will come from Advertising and donations to the School.
Film Annex is there to learn from the kids, understand what is the new cool music, what are the new trends and how we can produce content that is edgy and fits their characters; we will adapt ourselves to the kids vision, not vice versa. Film Annex and its partners provide the tools to establish a two way relationship so that both kids and distribution platform can benefit; The Bonaventure kids produce the content, we make sure its professional and distribute on Film Annex network, revenues are re-distributed back to the kids and The Bonaventure School.
Along with introducing a Curriculum for Social Media and Filmmaking we will also educate them in Target Marketing and SEO Optimization.
A key to resolve the space limitation will be to make the program so interesting and rewarding that the kids will be motivated to log in online also when not at The Bonaventure Boys Home, and make sure they can use Internet Points or family computers to learn more from educational platforms like the Examer and the Khan Academy, and contribute back with great written and digital video content.
It is the responsibility of companies like Film Annex to monitor their work and reward them accordingly so that they are motivated to share the best of their creativity and enrich corporate sites with their unique vision. Film Annex demographics match exactly the age and educational level of this young men, but their life experience is deep and controversial, this makes them unique and Thought Leaders in their specific fields.
At 44 years old it will be extremely valuable for me to read a “professional” blog or watch a “professional” video shot by a Caribbean teenager that due to his difficult life experience has a unique point of view and strive to resolve and move forward in his life. The conversation will be open to develop and make his ideas into reality.