We want to invite you to make an investment in our ongoing development of Community Based Skills Training as we continue to develop international projects. Our goal and mission is to create affordable and viable modular training that is accessible and relevant culturally. The training is based around effective communication in each nation that will empower and impact the societies in which we work.
The goal of our projects is to partner with field workers in each community and nation, this takes time and effort as all of our projects have a gestation period of 3 to 5 years as we research and plan out the running of the schools. We usually train 12 to 15 students at a time, but often have as many as 23 students including openings for seminar attendees as well, some weeks we are very full as the demand can be high for these kinds of hands-on skills.
Students learn public speaking, writing, graphic design – across the spectrum of print, web and motion graphics, photography, videography and editing. We teach the latest software and applications from Photoshop, illustrator, In Design, Lightroom, Premiere, WordPress and so much more. Our training is modular and applicable across cultures. Often we have to raise funds for computers, lighting equipment and cameras etc. We have been amazed at how our needs are met, often against all odds, through small gifts, a computer or software contribution. We also need investment into air fares and visa costs as these add up each year for us as a family.
Our aim is to train those working in local business, government, mission agencies, NGO’s, charities and churches to be more effective in their ongoing service. We specialise in cross-cultural training, multi-lingual translation and practical hands on projects that directly impact the communities we serve. These projects are intensive and full of life. Each student will learn the theory and gain the practice necessary to learn illustration, project management, story-telling, journalism and design skills necessary to engage in advocacy, fund raising, providing services or setting up their own local business.
Places we have run before have at times been without electricity, running water or the necessary infrastructure that is sufficient for running such technical schools. Each school is like a self-contained Design studio and we have run using combinations of inverters, generators, wind and solar power! Our internet connection has been a variety of mobile networks, broadband and 3G dongles. Each new project brings it’s own combination of challenges some cultural, technical, financial, spiritual and multi-lingual, we are always excited to see how we can traverse the obstacles and have had incredible support from local communities, food, donations and running costs covered. You can be a part of the solution. We often need even small amounts for text books, computer keyboards and mice etc.
Past students have gone on to work at Design Studios, serve as Photographers, work as Media Missionaries, Videographers and Communicators in their field of expertise. We recommend internships after the school and usually set up internships for those who graduate from the training. We work as a family on these projects and try to be as strategic as possible as we plan and run at each location. Our desire is to leave a small but lasting footprint and each location will be provided the best chance of continuing to run these schools long into the future. We have found that most locations that have been effective usually are those who go on to offer year long programs running Design schools, Film Schools and Photography Schools that serve as touch stones to experience and further development in the areas of discipline as each student specialises.
Our students are international, we have trained students from Bolivia, India, Switzerland, France, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, S. Korea, Ireland, England, Germany, Romania, Australia, America, Togo, South Africa and many many more. We have run more than 20 schools and gain more experience each year, we run an average of two projects a year.
We have had much success pioneering these 12 week schools into a number of different nations, specialising in Communication as a means for change. We will spend at least 12 weeks, but have spent up to 6 months in a location to train staff or teach students how to continue running similar training in subsequent years. Our goal is always to multiply the schools long-term, so this leads us to be selective about the locations we choose.
Nations that we have worked in include Scotland, Switzerland, Colombia, Nigeria, Thailand, India and soon we begin in Brazil, though we have worked all over the world in many other nations as well. Each nation has a unique expression creatively and culturally as they discover their giftings and the personality of each student unfolds during the schools.
We run School of Design and School of Digital Communication. School of Design focuses on the principles of Design, colour, form and function. School of Digital Communication focuses on Software and production, web design, desktop publishing and motion graphics. Each school has an emphasis on learning while doing and are very practical. Students are able to work in each discipline and we have combination of lectures, projects and workshops with hands on staff training to best serve each student with the best support they can receive.
We work with those who do not have sufficient finance, orphans or those who have no skills to bring to bear for the well-being of their families. Many find hope through basic skills and find a new lease of creativity and expression. Other students are professionals who seek further skills or to branch out into another area of expertise. Many also discover hope as they learn about God and the calling he has on our lives to create. The schools focus on a Theology of Design, understanding that God cares about every facet of our lives and the simplest of skills can bring hope and life to others when put into a context of active service.
We aim to pour out our skills as selflessly as we are able, and attempt as much as possible to keep a small footprint, we sometimes offer financial aid and sponsor students, but believe that skills training is ultimately the best way to serve the needs in the developing world as it is by far the gift that keeps giving in the long-term. If we can teach a man to fish, it is sufficient to excite a career and is the most cost-effective and empowering way to develop and set young lives on a trajectory for success.
So, we need your help to see the next project off the ground. We travel as a family and home school our two children living very frugally year-round as we aim to serve with our lives and carry the weight of our expenses while investing what skills we have by passing them on to younger generations out of what God supplies. We are Media Missionaries and we depend on you and others who believe in our work to give generously towards our international flights, invest in our work and believe in our vision to see the world changed in many small ways through our efforts. We would love to take each of you for a day to see and meet the students and are committed to report back as often and efficiently as we are able. So we want to make our needs clear and if you feel that you should invest, we would appreciate it and the students on our schools will also reap a huge benefit as a result.
- You can also email me if you would like other ways to help.
Here are some pictures from past projects to give you a view of what the schools are like.
Design is something we do, consciously or unconsciously, but when we understand design, we need to grab it and reconnect back to God. I think the essence of the school is to reconnect the students to God as the utmost designer – Moses
I am passionate about communication because it is a tool that I can effectively use to reach people that I cannot be physically there to reach them and touch them, touch their lives. So by using a visual communication, I can touch a lot of people’s lives – Stephen
God is a great designer so I think the potential is that we can draw people closer to God by the stuff we create that is created well - Debborah
One of the topics that has impacted me most is the web design because actually its so awesome, beautiful actually to really put your creativity together and launch it to send a message to people anywhere in the world. The Design Schools have really taught me teamwork, its so exciting learning to work with people. It’s fun though it’s not easy, you learn from each other – Halima
The topic that impacted me the most was the web design, because for a long time I’ve had this passion to be a web designer and actually the school has improved my skillsand given me the right approach towards designing websites. I am advising young people to come and do the design schools, most especially those that have the mind for media, and I am sure they won’t remain the same – David
I am most passionate about visual communication because it has to do with what people see and in this part of the world people are influenced either positively or negatively by what they see. So I like to create things that can impact people positively wherever they go. This school has really opened my mind to do things creatively in a more creative way. It’s been fun. Its been work but its been good – Ebenezer
The highlight of the school for me has been learning the theology of design because I like the fact that design actually started with God. God created everything and we are co-creators with him – Alex
University of the Nations:
I highly recommend the School of Design of our College/Faculty of Communication. So much of what we do involves principles of design, from decorating the entry of a base to doing websites and brochures. Any YWAMer could benefit from learning the Biblical principles of effective design that are taught in this foundational school. As I have observed what the students learn in just 12 weeks when the school is run where I live in Burtigny in Switzerland, I am always impressed and blessed.
Please pray about sending at least one person from each training base in
– Tom Bloomer, International Provost, University of the Nations
Access to computer software, and increasing affordability is making it common for the average
person with a personal computer to communicate most any message to their audience. But just
because I own a stove and know how to operate the temperature settings doesn’t make me a
The School of Design teaches more than software. Students learn the fundamentals of the skills
and craft of design, which can be applied regardless of the medium or tools of the day. I encourage anyone serious about producing visual communication with an impact to take advantage of what the School of Design has to offer.
– Kenny Jackson
College of Communication
The schools of Design and Digital Communication have really taken our ministry to another level. I have seen young African students express their creativity in the most incredible ways, a creativity which was formerly untapped. I have seen dignity and relevance restored in the lives of those in whom society thought could not contribute anything. These are truly schools that anyone seeking to enlarge God’s kingdom through communication should do. Aleck and his team have honestly modeled Godly leadership and love for the students. Media Village Nigeria is not the same as a result.
- Anne Abok, Base Leader of YWAMMedia Village, Jos, Nigeria
To have the schools in our base has brought a unique wealth, it is a tool that has allowed us to train and equip students in a short term, not just the technical aspect, but also has a clear vision of what the Lord wants to do through the students in their society through the arts and communication. On the other hand it was a challenge that had pushed us to grow into a new ministry that not only have the potential to bless the society but also the church and our mission.
- Paulo Fillion, Leadership Team and Design School Leader, Medellin, Colombia
Past Seminar Students:
I’ve had a flair for design over time but I wasn’t equipped with the basic tools and know-how until I attended the School of Digital Communication. The school is an application to build up on what is covered in the School of Design. Here principles and theology of design is applied to Print design, Web design and Video editing. I didn’t just learn design for its sake but got my convictions deepen with the fact that God is a designer; a great one for that matter. I’ve learnt to use what I do to point others to Christ.
So in partnership with my colleagues in the school, my ministry now has a new website which will be uploaded soon. Just last week I was invited to advise our sister organization on web based data management application they intend use.” It has been a great experience to be a seminar student on the school.
- Moses Osagiede, Great Commission Movement of Nigeria. (A Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ International)