Bringing Hope to Children of South Africa

Mischelle McIntosh and Luke Rowland

Cedarville University sent a professor and student to South Africa this summer to create a promotional film for Open Schools Worldwide. Photo courtesy of Mischelle McIntosh

by Kaitlyn Coughlin, Public Relations Writer

November 14, 2012

Cedarville University sent two representatives to South Africa July 15-28, 2012, to create a promotional film for Open Schools Worldwide (OSWW). Mischelle McIntosh, assistant professor of communications, led the trip and was accompanied by Luke Rowland, a sophomore majoring in digital film. They joined two staff members from OSWW in Johannesburg to create a promotional film for the organization’s “school-in-a-bag” program featuring children and volunteers who work with the organization.

“The children live in deplorable conditions, but this ministry seeks to provide education to them so that they will come to know Christ and also have a chance at a better future,” McIntosh said.

Rowland handled the film equipment and operated the camera during the interviews for the film.

“Going to South Africa and seeing the poverty and problems there makes the film we’re working on so important to me,” Rowland said. “Projects like this can really make a difference in people’s lives.”

He said that one of the most important things he learned was that film can be so much more than Hollywood, movie stars and fame.

“Film isn’t all about getting famous or having a good time making movies,” Rowland said. “It’s hard work, and when done right with the right attitude, it can really make a difference in the world.”

OSWW is a nonprofit organization that is committed to responding to the educational needs of children who do not have access to traditional school systems or who are at risk of educational failure for reasons beyond their control. It has trained over 800 volunteers and is serving over 8,000 children in South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Uganda and the Philippines.

The “school-in-a-bag” program offers children open and free access to education through trained volunteers and needs-based literacy, mathematics, health and life skills teaching. Volunteers receive a bag that contains teachers’ manuals, student workbooks, an MP3 player, blackboards, chalk stationary, games, and all other resources a teacher would need to teach a small group of children, with or without a building. McIntosh said that the film will be finished by the end of the year and will be used by OSWW to raise funds on its website and YouTube and also with potential donors and churches.  

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.