We have a long-standing relationship with The Ethiopian Gemini Trust and GEM TV in Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia. Set up in 1987 to save and support twins born to needy families in Addis Ababa, Gemini directly helps over 2,000 families in the most deprived parts of Addis Ababa, working with over 11,000 people. The Ethiopian Gemini Trust runs a groundbreaking youth programme; on a daily basis over 300 young people come to Gemini to take part in community arts activities, dance, music, drama, filmmaking.
The link between Valley and Vale Community Arts and the Ethiopian Gemini Trust started in 2003 when 3 young people aged 16-18 from South Wales had the opportunity to travel with our Film for Development Workers Tracy Pallant and Amy Peckham to work with Gem and Gemini Youth to make a short film together called ‘Youth in Focus’. This was a unique opportunity for young people from very different cultures to come together and share their stories, interests and skills. The film looked at issues that affect teenagers both in Wales and Ethiopia.
Following on from the success of Youth in Focus, Valley and Vale were invited to run animation workshops with Gem Art artists and young filmmakers, all beneficiaries of the Ethiopian Gemini Trust.
Since then we have been working on shared projects, helping GEM TV build their media production skills to develop sustainable creative opportunities and jobs for the project’s future.
Our latest project has involved music, singing and photography, helping the project develop new skills, as we continue to develop our creative partnership together. We are hoping to host a visit this summer, bringing some of the Ethiopian artists back here to work with our Community Arts projects in South Wales.