Volunteers have made Juliah a special chair using APT technology. The whole thing is made from paper and card, and it is carefully designed to meet Juliah’s needs in terms of supporting her feet, knees and arm. British physiotherapist, Fiona, discusses our next shot with Kenyan physiotherapist, Rachel. Our cameramen do likewise.
At the end of our session with Juliah, we asked if we could just take some shots of her relaxing with her friends. With permission of the head teacher, three of them joined us, and the chatter and laughter that ensued was lovely to behold. Apparently, the main question the others were asking – and which caused so much giggling – was, “What are you going to tell your mother?”
Colin will be shocked. Sunday came round again, so we took a second day off ! This time went to Lake Nakuru National Park. It was absolutely magical, and we saw a leopard, giraffes, zebra, antelope, hippos, white rhino, wild boar, monkeys, baboon, buffalo, dik dik and lots and lots of beautiful birds. I felt extremely lucky.
After a day on the edit, we returned to the clinic this morning in order to collect footage to illustrate some of the deformities that can develop in children with cerebral palsy. Such deformity can sometimes be prevented or minimized, but early intervention is essential. So our job was to show trainee therapists what to watch out for. Later, we went back to the home of Stephen – where once again we were greeted by our canine friends!
Our last day of filming was a joyous one. Little Collins finds the physical act of eating both difficult and painful, and his devoted parents have had great difficulty feeding him. However, our therapists were able to suggest several ways of helping – including putting Collins in a standing frame which made it much easier for him to swallow. So after consuming a nourishing meal of avocado and milk, Collins gave us a lovely smile with which to end the shoot.
One participant has not been invited to the leaving party. Yesterday, they walked right across in front of the cameras, let out an earth-shattering noise into the microphones – and then refused to sign a permission form. A donkey, no less !
Day 9 – We shall be filming five children to illustrate different types of cerebral palsy and to demonstrate a number of possible handling techniques. Today we went to the house of Francis. Black clouds were hovering, and we had to get down to the outside work as quickly as possible. We were lucky – the storm held off, and it is only now that thunder is crashing around us.
Francis’ mother is a hairdresser with a tiny shop. One of the problems for us was the busy background of posters – all competing for attention. Fortunately we were able to do most of the shoot outside.
Day 10 – After each session in the home showing mother and child coping with daily activities, we film some examples of appropriate therapy in the clinic. Here, Francis’ mother had been shown how to hold him in the guitar position – a method of carrying that serves to straighten the child and stretch his muscles.
In the case of Juliah, who attends Special School, therapy can sometimes be carried out literally “in the field”. She can be put on a double wedge to make her back stronger without provoking her spasms.
More updates to follow next week alternatively please follow Elspeths news on our facebook page www.facebook.com/purplefieldproductions
The PFP crew left for Kenya on 30th June 2012 where we are making a teaching film in association with Cerebral Palsy Africa (CPA) for physiotherapists working with children with cerebral palsy in Africa. We are also providing a mentored work experience opportunity for a student from the Kibera Film School.
Day 2 We departed for Nyahurur on Monday 2nd July and we were joined by our student cameraman Grishon.
Day 4 We are based at St Martin in Nyahururu. They are doing wonderful work here in a variety of areas: disability, HIV/AIDS, human rights, savings and credit. It is a truly inspiring place and an ideal setting for our film. Introductions and orientation now over, we are concentrating on recording the skills of physiotherapist Rachel in her work with children with cerebral palsy.
Day 6 Sunbirds are outside my window and filming is progressing well. Today we visited Stephen who lives with his grandmother and suffers very severely from CP. Previously he had to spend nearly all his day lying down, but now he has a special chair which not only helps his posture but also enables him to interact more fully with the rest of the family.
Day 8 Today is our day off! Everyone at Stephen’s house was very helpful in controlling interruptions on location. When dogs barked, they put wheelbarrows over them. However, I was relieved that the toddler running in front of the camera was not given the same treatment!
More news to come but in the meantime, please follow Elspeth on our facebook page www.facebook.com/purplefieldproductions for the latest news and pictures from Kenya.
PFP has now entered into formal partnership with Somerset Film and Video (SFV) (www.somersetfilm.com) an organisation that helped us set up in the first place, and has continued to be an enormous support to us over many years. SFV are based at The Engine Room in Bridgwater, Somerset and are involved in a number of projects including running film making courses and community based film making initiatives throughout Somerset. There are many ways in which both organisations could benefit enormously from such a link and we look forward to working together in the future. The formal recognition of our partnership should be of great help in raising our profile and could lead to all sorts of joint screenings and activities, including offering new training opportunities for young filmmakers in the countries in which we work. We plan to hold a joint event later this year to formalise the partnership and look forward to updating you on how this partnership develops.