Documentary Update

Though we received some difficult news regarding our conference, we are still moving forward with plans to complete our documentary. Titled The Omega Project, our documentary intends to focus on the collaboration between local farmers and the Namibian government in terms of food security and the Go Local campaigns highlighted in the Visions 2030 Policy.


Students in Bwabwata National Park

To recap, three members (Kelsey Lane, Oly Zayac, and Susan Reynolds) from the Class of 2017 traveled to Namibia for 10 days at the end of May/beginning of June to begin filming. This was made possible through funding that we applied for during our junior year and received prior to departing. We were incredibly fortunate to have been awarded a grant from the Park Foundation for a total of $10,000. We also received $2,000 of funding from the Elon University Student Government Association, which made the trip during the summer possible. To sum it up as best as possible, the trip was incredibly rewarding, eye opening, and full of ample roadblocks and frustration (read our blog updates for a full overview of our time there this summer).


Fidi showing us a map of Bwabwata as an introduction to the park.

One of the highlights of our trip this summer was a visit to Bwabwata National Park in the Caprivi Region, located in the northeastern part of Namibia. Our class had previously established a contact with Fidi Alpers at the Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservancy (IRDNC). Fidi was kind enough to spend an entire day with us, showing us around Bwabwata and introducing us to many people that lived and worked within the park. Our time in Bwabwata was inspiring to say the least. Our goal is to return to Bwabwata in January to elaborate on the stories that we heard this summer to ultimately document a story that will serve as the underlying narrative that drives the documentary.

Since our trip this summer, we have continued to do research in preparation for our return trip in January. We have identified organizations and individuals that would be beneficial to interview, and have begun reaching out and setting up meetings. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to meet some incredible contacts while on the ground in June who have been helping us get in contact with various people. One of our contacts, Katherine Carter, is an Elon alum living in Namibia and teaching at the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST). Katherine was incredibly helpful in getting us acclimated in Namibia in June and continues to be an incredible resource and friend as we prepare for travel in January. (Read more about our time with Katherine in a story published by the Elon Magazine!) Some of our other contacts include Forrest Branch, a friend of our mentor, Dr. Carol Smith. Forrest provided us with a wealth of knowledge and connections, and we are looking forward to reconnecting with him in January as well. There are many many others whom we give our thanks and utmost appreciation to. Feel free to read about our contacts on our website as we continue to populate it with information in the coming weeks.

While we are saddened that the conference will not be taking place in January, we are excited to continue moving forward as best as we possibly can. We look forward to sharing additional updates as plans are solidified and progress is made. Our goal is to release The Omega Project to the public in April of 2017.

The Omega Project co-directors,

Kelsey Lane & Oly Zayac

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