Kapital Virtual Academy (KVA) is a Juba based grass-roots film and video training initiative founded by independent film-makers and medical students Lagu Stephen Samuel and Richard Dratu in 2013. Connected to Lagu Stephen’s umbrella film production organisation Kapital Movie Industry Corporation, the KVA has attracted a broad group of young people from across South Sudan who aspire to become designers, media producers, film-makers and IT professionals, however for a lack of educational infrastructure in this field are not able to do so. Most of the KVA participants are students at the University of Juba, studying a wide scope of professional disciplines.
As perhaps South Sudan’s first and only independent media training institution, KVA aims to also address some of the key post-independence and post-conflict challenges that South Sudanese society faces today. These include communal violence, health and environmental issues, and the nurturing of a vibrant civil society.
By utilizing an Open Source philosophy including the use of OERs (Open Educational Resources), FOSS / open source software and open technologies, KVA aims to build local capacity and community empowerment through the power of film and media production. As such KVA’s aim is primarily two-fold:
1. skills training and professional capacity building in IT and media production
2. advancing the ideals of securing a vibrant open civil society in South Sudan
Initially KVA classes where informal and self-organised, with no fixed regular location, taking place in different homes, student residences and cafes usually with little or no access to internet or electricity. The KVA students have been largely self-taught, and then mentored by fellow students and graduates of the program. Since late 2013 KVA has been able to meet on UNESCO South Sudan’s Juba premises which has enabled a more rigorous semester structure with a focussed curriculum being developed.
The KVA has also managed, against many odds, immense challenges and threats against the security of its students and teachers to continue its activities through the current crisis in the country. As an entirely home-grown initiative the KVA serves to create a uniquely South Sudanese institution enabling local people to tell relevant stories, address key issues, and become key players in the building of their own country. This is especially key in a new state struggling to stand on its own two feet among the family of nations overcome decades of civil war, ongoing political crisis alongside the most basic of development and education challenges.
KVA current course load touches upon a diverse range of topics related to technology, design and media production including:
- Basic computer skills
- Software training
- Web design
- Digital computer graphics
- Creative writing
- Sound and video editing
But in order to be truly successful, and sustain its independence, express its cultural values and spread their open culture philosophy the KVA now needs real support and partners that share their vision by, for example:
- enabling professional guest mentors on a regular basis
- providing up-to-date
- equipment and technology
- facilitating access to quality educational resources
- helping pay staff and cover administrative, travel and location costs
For more information and to support the KVA, please visit: http://www.kapitalmovie.net/
Lagu Stephen Samuel [lagu[at]kapitalmovie.net] Dratu Richard [dratu[at]kapitalmovie.net]