The training in Digital Story Telling (DST) took place at the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT) on 30 to 31 January 2018. Twenty-three (23) participants gathered on the first day in the Computer room where Ms. Folashade Adeboyejo introduced the facilitators to the participants. Mrs. Tomi Abiodun-Solanke gave an introductory talk on Mundus maris (MM) asbl. She underlined the importance of Digital Story Telling as a critical “language” particularly for youths to engage others in addressing the considerable environmental problem in Lagos State.

Mundus maris believes that investing in such training provides participants with essential communication skills for their own professional and personal development and should allow the young researchers or technicians to inspire understanding and activities. The photo to the right pictures Prof. Stella Williams and Mr. Olumide Okesanya.

Ms Folashade Adeboyejo introduces the facilitatorsThe first facilitator, Mr. Olumide Okesanya, focused in his session on an overview about "the art of digital storytelling". He explained to the attentive participants what DST entails, the essential contents for a good DST, digital tools for telling stories, the importance of DST and its elements.

After a break, the amiable Mrs. Temilade Aina went deeper into two key aspects in DST: computing skills needed and cartoon and avatar creation. She butressed her talk about what to do and how with practical examples. She provided participants the locations of websites, where the can create avatars and explained a step-by-step process on how to go about creating sketches by themselves. In a practical application participants followed through and successfully created theirs personal sketches. She answered the many questions brilliantly and that brought her session to the end.

After lunch, Mr. Olumide elaborated further about the digital storytelling process and what publishing quality on social media platforms required. He followed up his explanations of principles with practical exercises. He provided a story in audio form asking participants to build a story board around it right there in the class.

Participants engrossed in the teaching on DST by Mr. Olumide Okesanya on the first day of the 2-Day Training programmeBrainstorming produced a storyline. Participants chose characters, took pictures and the story started to come to life. Throughout the teaching, he gave loads of relatable illustrations and willingly answered questions.

The second day started with an interactive review of the learning during the previous day. The anchor for the following practical training on creating documentaries and short films was the dynamic and tireless Mr. Pelumi Osewa.

His first focus was how to write a narrative script for short documentary followed by what it takes to conduct an interview, essentials of videography and equipment dos' and don'ts as well as basics of video editing and storyboarding.

To get down to practical field work, it was decided the class should make a documentary about the deplorable state of jetty waterside of the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR), which is littered with debris of all sorts.

Tomi Solanke and Mercy Adeogun (l) are happy about the strong commitment of the participantsGiven its commitment towards ocean protection, Mundus maris deplores such degradation of the natural environment and aims at creating greater awareness and action to promote the health of aquatic life. The students shot the video documentation and returned to the training room to edit the footage. Using Premiere Pro, one of the numerous video editing softwares available, Mr. Osewa took the participants through the process of video editing. He advised them to play around with the video editing and to keep practicing as the best way to learn and discover the many options of the software.

Then it was time to break up into Community groups. Each group was given the responsibility of documenting the need for clearing/cleaning one assigned water body or location. They were supposed to use their newly acquired digital story telling skills for creating the awareness and communicating the needed actions to make that happen. They would become ambassadors for the motto a ‘Healthy Ocean’ is tantamount to a ‘Healthy Planet’. Click here for the first example of Ojo Jetty prepared by the community group from Lagos State University (LASU).

The group gratefully acknowledges $1,700 funding from the Cultural Affairs Section of the US Embassy in Abuja for enabling the training and four outings of community groups to hotspots crying out for clean-ups.

Group photo of participants at the Digital Story Telling programme