Week One: Finding the space and setting the plan (Part II)


“Tinap mek u go wuk” – in Krio it means get up, time to get to work.

Day Three: Arthur has been researching the prices of furniture and has determined it’s cheaper for us to have furniture built for the Media Center.

So on this morning, we are off to meet up with the carpenter, Idris, to review our proposed plan for each room and determine a budget for materials and his time.

The group goes room by room with measuring tapes in hand reviewing the furniture needs for each. We assign the purpose to each room and agree on the furniture. Once we have a good idea of what we would like to build, the carpenter figures out what materials are needed. An estimate is determined so Idris and Arthur can go negotiate the price the next morning. They will do the negotiating and purchasing of materials on their own, because they will get a better price if the team from America is not present.

Alluspa King paints the floors of the Media Center.

Alluspa King paints the floors of the Media Center.

Day Four: It’s time to begin moving in to the Media Center. Today, the young filmmakers based in Freetown join us to clean the center and paint the floors—leaving the two front rooms unpainted for the carpenter to work. Arthur tours the group through the center and lays out the plan for the coming days for building out the space and officially opening the center. There are lots of nods of approval and the team is very pleased that they now have a place to create.

The previous day we had discovered that our driver was not only excellent at navigating the streets of Freetown, but was also an electrician. So we do an electricity review of the space and determine materials needed to repair lights and wall outlets so he is able to buy them the following morning. The afternoon brings the first delivery of wood for building the furniture.

In addition, we meet with the outdoor sign maker and review the center to begin listing what other fixes are required and setting up appointments for the next day with the welder.

Day Five: The carpenter and his team get to work building the furniture. They are craftsman and the initial work on the table legs is impressive to watch. Alluspa and Frank are busy with the “fix it” list and tackling the toilet and tub rooms. And Med (our driver and now electrician) is busy beginning the electricity work throughout the center. We confirm the work with the welder to add more security to the windows, build the sign structure and a locking equipment cabinet.

We lock up for the night, satisfied with our progress: we have a working toilet; a clean tub room; additional electric outlets; working lights and a room full of table legs.

As the first week comes to an end, there are plans made with the carpenter to carry on working through the weekend and for team meetings to outline the mentor training schedule for the following week. A group of eight will be gathering for mentor training to focus on editing skills with Banker and the development of the new media center and website.

Buildout plan for WeOwnTV Media Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Buildout plan for WeOwnTV Media Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

sheena yang