Girls in Animation is an NGO that aims to create gender diversity in the animation industry by creating a community of female animators to train and motivate more girls/women to grow an interest in animation and take up careers in the field.
On the 29th and 31st of August, some community members of Girls in Animation took a trip to the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) to talk with the students of the Graphic Design Department and to create awareness of the NGO. It was indeed an enlightening visit. The Department covers advertising, animation, graphic design, and multimedia courses.
A visit to the second-year students in the department revealed that a class of about 110 students had not more than 15 female students. The third-year class had about 60 students with only 5 of them being females. This means that women make up about one-tenth of the total population in these classes. We also found out that no female student was pursuing animation as a major. These numbers are not encouraging and highlight the importance of Girls in Animation's work to increase gender diversity in the animation industry.
They were educated on the need to start creating their portfolios right from school and to always have them uploaded online. We touched on the importance of working in teams and doing more collaborative work with their peers.
An in-depth talk with them made us realize how hungry these young ones are to make their mark in the industry. Some students already have their animation businesses running but are clueless about who to talk to or hold their hands and lead them through.
We gave them a brief training on how to pitch their projects and held pitching exercises with them and wow, these young minds are filled with such amazing ideas for their projects. A more structured training on pitching will get them to confidently sell their concepts for funding.
The animation industry in Ghana is very much in its foundational stage mostly because funding for animation projects is very little. This is the reason there are very few well-established animation studios in Ghana.
This outreach was facilitated by Solace Emefa Adzei, a Girls in Animation community member and an animation lecturer at UEW. We were privileged to be introduced to the Head of the Department, Dr. Fiifi Esseku, who commended the initiative and expressed willingness to support our recently introduced Student Placement Program.
Girls in Animation successfully signed 15 females onto the community platform and will be making more visits to various senior high schools and tertiary institutions to create awareness and sign more girls up for the mentorship program which will be launched later this year.