‘Tell us a time about when you felt like you were part of a family or not part of a family’ – Every story is different

As part of our commitment to ensure that the views of vulnerable boys and girls reach decision-makers we have launched a new digital storytelling project. Seven of our members attended a five-day workshop on Digital Storytelling earlier this month in Russia. It was an intensive, emotional and yet exciting experience which will shape our work with children and families over the coming months.

With many different understandings and definitions of ‘family’ across the globe we are asking the question – what does it mean to be part of a family? During the five days, the participating members shared their stories about when they felt a part, or not, of a family. Some stories focused on abuse and deprivation, and others on caring and love – and how families can bind us together with their presence or scatter us in their absence.

The workshop was a declared safe-space for all participants to share and listen to each other’s personal stories. The stories had to be true and focus on feelings, which is a crucial aspect of the Digital Storytelling process. We ended up with some great three-minute films, and a better understanding of what the process entails.

Digital Storytelling is a powerful visual medium being more personal and having the scope to convey a great deal in a few words and images. We will now take the project forward, to children and families across the globe. Armed with their stories and their voices, we can ensure that policy-makers acknowledge the importance and complexity of ‘family’ in policy making at the global and national level.