Tenayistilign is a common Ethiopian (Amharic) phrase. It means ‘greetings’ and is a wish for good health. Tenayistilign is the welcome page to the I-AM 101 project website.

I AM is an acronym for Imaging Animation and Media whose promotion and teaching in Ethiopia and Africa is the substance of our project. It also connotes the expression of identity and that is the spirit of our mission. The number 101 has a number of significances but we will share just two: First, 101 often signifies the beginning of a series of courses in a curriculum and second, 101 can signify going beyond our usual habits and best performance as in ‘101 percent’. Thus I-AM 101 is both a beginning and a going beyond. Both of these concepts underlie our conceptions of the project. For convenience we will, however, normally refer to the project as the ‘I-AM Project’.

The I-AM Project

The I-AM Project brings together highly skilled and motivated professionals in the IT and media industries and in education. Under the leadership of Trevor Jarvis who has personally tutored a first pilot course in Addis Ababa during October through December 2023 the project has introduced Ethiopian students to leading professionals in the fields of imaging and animations through online seminars.

These professionals, inspired, and in some cases initially trained, by Tevor are bringing years of experience globally to address the exclusion of African youth from creative opportunities afforded to their peers in the richer world. At the same time it is our mission, and Trevor’s teaching methodology, to draw out the genius of every cohort of students that we work with so that we may learn and benefit from their unique perspectives, skills and experience.

Our Vision

Beyond the provision of inspirational introductory courses, our vision is to empower African youth to participate fully in and contribute to the imaging, animation and media industries through conscious and creative collaboration between communities located in different parts of the world to transform and improve their lives. Our vision is to work with African young people so that they understand and use creative technologies to express their unique identities, their common humanity and their own visions. We wish to establish ongoing collaborations with students as with the partners with whom we are delivering our courses. Ultimately we see ourselves creating an international learning and creative community based in Addis Ababa.

The Context

The Ethiopian World Federation Dr Melaku Bayan Association (EWF DRMBA) is taking a lead in supporting the I-AM initiative through its education committee to implement this project in Ethiopia. The EWF is committed to working with partners to ensure mutual benefit and growth. The I-AM project team intends that this project will sit alongside other transformative projects being developed by the Federation.

With more than twenty-five years of experience in introducing learners to the core principles of storytelling through animation, Trevor Jarvis, an artist, animator, and educator is the I-AM Project team leader. Trevor Jarvis has drawn on the extensive contacts and resources he has acquired through his professional career to implement the project in Addis Ababa following up on work done in Ghana, earlier in 2023.

Our Programme

Our programme is in ongoing development but the team has identified, as core to that programme, the need for young people to be included in creative dialogues with their global peers. They feel left out and are frustrated due to the absence of means to participate fully.

The I-AM project will meet this challenge through:

a) media courses and workshops introducing Imagination Communication Technologies,
b) creating a persistent learning and creative community that will support learners along their progression paths,
c) providing ongoing access to resources that will enable them to continue their learning journeys,

In Africa, we will focus on delivering the first courses in Ethiopia and Ghana. Our first pilot initiative has been the animation course that that started in Addis Ababa in October 2023 and that will conclude at the end of January 2024. This has established solid connections and collaboration between the project itself, the EWF DRMBA, the American Embassy and St Mary’s University, it has established a model and frameworkfor future work and it is establishing a network of potential further partners to work with on common aspirations.

Project Status Update

The I-AM 101 project team is part of the Education Committee of the Ethiopian World Federation Dr Melaku Beyan Association (EWF-DRMBA). Chaired by EWF DRMBA President, Ambrose King, and including members from the UK and USA, the team established connections with the American Embassy and St Mary’s University in Addis Ababa. These connections led to the setting up of a first course for a cohort of about 40 students in the Col. John C Robinson Corner of St Mary’s University.

The I-AM 101 team has arrived at this point on an entirely voluntary and unpaid basis with all members putting considerable effort into the project. We have all been inspired by the vision of Trevor Jarvis pictured above with Ambrose King. Trevor above all has put his soul into making this happen, financing his own travel and delivering without payment what is effectively a masterclass in the art of animation to students in Addis Ababa.

Help us by donating at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/I-AM-Project