Empowering Jesuits in Communication

Media Bootcamp in Hekima

“Jesus, who himself communicated his Father’s message through parables, miracles and acts of compassion, must be our model”, (GC 34, D. 15, no. 4). We must become communicators of God’s mercy like Jesus in a changing world marked by the constant evolution of technology and different means of communication.

From 16-21 May 2024, the serene community of Hekima in Nairobi hosted a bootcamp on videography and photography. The event, coordinated by Father Benedict Mayaki, SJ of the Communication Office of the General Curia, brought together Jesuit scholastics interested in honing their skills in visual storytelling, underscoring the vital role of communication in Jesuit mission today. Among the formators of the bootcamp were Mr Joseph Bunga and Vincent Sylvester Wada, SJ, both seasoned professionals in the field of media, photography and videography.

The bootcamp began with a general introduction that set the tone for an intensive week ahead. The initial sessions focused on the fundamental principles of photography, exploring concepts like the exposure triangle – aperture, shutter speed, and ISO – which are crucial for mastering the nuances of capturing light. Participants immersed themselves in framing techniques, camera movements, and composition principles like the rule of thirds, leading lines, and symmetry. The practical exercises that followed allowed them to apply these concepts, capturing images that put their newfound knowledge into practice.


The next days brought a shift in focus to the realm of video editing, with a detailed exploration of the DaVinci Resolve editing program. Participants learned how to import footage, organize media assets, and navigate the editing interface. Mr Joe Bunga introduced them to the complexities of livestreaming setups, an essential knowledge for those looking to effectively broadcast their content to a broader audience.

In addition to enhancing technical skills for effective communication, the bootcamp also provided an opportunity for prayer, reflexion, and discussion on the mission of the Society today. From Rome, Fr John Dardis, SJ, Director of Communications in the General Curia, had a conversation on 18 with the participants, emphasizing the importance of communication in Jesuit life and mission and calling for a continuous commitment to excellence in this field. Fr Dardis asked the participants to pray and reflect on how they intend to apply their new skills, but also what proposals they make for their institution, Provinces and the universal Society to improve in that matter.

Having attended the boot camp, the opportunities to make use of what I have learned are wide open before me. Now I feel confident to tell stories that I see and experience through the camera lens to the world.

Mark Dinoshan, SJ – Sri Lanka Province

The President of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM), Father José Minaku, SJ had also a conversation with participants on the last day. His sharing on the significance of communication within JCAM highlighted the Conference’s role as a space of discernment, a network, and a beacon of visibility. Fr Minaku addressed issues of faulty communication, such as silence, carelessness, the loss of beautiful stories, institutional amnesia, and the negative image of Africa. Moreover, he emphasized the necessity of effective communication for engaging collaborators and stakeholders, fundraising, advocacy, promoting vocations, and ensuring transparency.

The bootcamp at Hekima was more than just a technical training session; it was a journey into the profound impact of effective communication. Its immediate fruit is a renewed commitment to excellence in communication, driven by a deeper understanding of its power to tell the compelling stories of Jesuits and the people they serve, and to witness how God is present within their mission in the world.

During these five days, I understood how photography and videography are arts which can be put to the service of the Society of Jesus for more efficient evangelization. As the saying goes: “practice makes perfect”. So, this is just an introduction to videography and photography. We should therefore keep learning to improve our skills.

Grégoire Kabore, SJ – Western Africa Province
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Posted by Communications Office - Editor in Curia Generalizia
Communications Office
The Communications Office of the General Curia publishes news of international scope on the central government of the Society of Jesus and on the commitments of the Jesuits and their partners. It also handles media relations.

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