Name: Bee Gilbert
What she does: Photographer, script reader, film researcher, writer, producer and Director of Anno’s Africa
Impact: Has helped orphans and vulnerable children find alternative careers in the media
Bee is a photographer, who has worked as a script reader, film researcher and writer. She also produced The Cement Garden, the award-winning film based on Ian McEwan’s novel.
After the death of her son Anno, Bee helped set up and direct the charity S.A.F.E. (Sponsored Arts for Education), under whose banner Anno’s Africa has been running since its inception in 2006. Anno’s Africa offer an alternative, arts education to orphans and vulnerable children in some of Africa’s most desperately deprived city slums. Although there are many charities working to supply medical help and feed these children, what is sometimes overlooked is that they are as hungry for an education as they are for food.
In Kenya, in spite of Government pledges that all children should have access to a free education, many families cannot afford the school uniforms and books that are a prerequisite for children attending State schools. As a result, various churches and other local organisations have set up “Non-Formal” charity schools in order that these kids can receive a very basic, but limited, education. Anno’s Africa links with these schools to provide the kids with a series of workshops in the arts for several weeks each year. The programme covers five major disciplines; Art, Drama, Music, Dance (including Ballet) and Circus skills. During the workshops teacher training is offered to local artists so that the arts projects can become permanent features in these schools.
The Anno’s Africa project not only offers orphans and vulnerable children the opportunity of finding alternative careers in the media, but more essentially allows them to explore their creative talents and discover their artistic potential, giving them the confidence and self esteem that will carry them through into their adult lives with optimism and hope.