Watch the feature-length version, premiered on April 27th, 2017, by clicking below!
About The Omega Project
The Omega Project is a documentary highlighting the collaboration between local farmers and the Namibian government in terms of food security and the 'Go Local' campaigns emphasized in the Visions 2030 Policy. In December of 2015, the Agriculture Policy of Namibia was amended to create a new focus on the Visions 2030 Policy, which works to set clear goals for where Namibia should be in terms of food production and marketing. One of the campaigns mentioned in the policy encourages consumers to buy local and producers to sell locally under the marketing of ‘Naturally Namibian.’ The theme of our documentary is this idea of going local: producing food locally, stimulating the local economy, and empowering local people. We hope to produce something that incorporates the perspectives of all different people in Namibia, including government officials, NGO’s, and local farmers. In doing so, we hope to bridge the communication gap between these groups of people, with the ultimate goal of establishing collaboration in a sustainable way.
The Republic of Namibia is situated in south-western Africa, bordered by Angola and Zambia in the north, Botswana in the east, and South Africa in the south. The country is quite large covering 823,145 square kilometers with a population of just 2.5 million people, making it one of the least densely populated nations in the world. The capital city, Windhoek, is located in the central interior of the country. Namibia is one of the youngest nations in Africa, having gained independence from South Africa in 1990. As such, they are still establishing their infrastructure, but have made considerable accomplishments in recent years. More than 70 percent of Namibia's population relies on agriculture for all or part of their livelihood.
Our Partners and Supporters
This documentary would not have been possible without the help and support of students, staff, and faculty at Elon University, most notably those in the Periclean Scholars Program. With regard to funding, a huge thank you goes out to the Park Foundation, to the Elon Student Government Association, and to the Elon School of Communications for their grants that helped to make this vision a reality. Thank you to our colleagues at the University of Namibia (UNAM) who helped facilitate our travels and provided much support. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with such a prestigious university in Namibia. Finally, thank you to the countless individuals and organizations who gave up their time to talk to and meet with us to further our understanding of food security in Namibia. This documentary would not have been possible without your knowledge and insight.
Our Documentary Team
Kelsey Lane graduated from Elon University with Bachelor of the Arts Degrees in Sociology and Communication Design, and minors in Leadership Studies and African Studies. She was a member of the Periclean Scholars Class of 2017. As a communication design professional, she understands the importance of branding and advertising, social media promotion, and designing for target audiences, which has helped in distributing the film and raising awareness about the issues that are addressed. As a sociologist, Kelsey understands the significance of cultural sensitivity. She has traveled extensively including independent travel throughout Central and South America, Europe, and study abroad experiences in Western Australia and Tanzania/Ethiopia.
Oly Zayac graduated from Elon University with a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Broadcast Journalism, and a minor in Anthropology. She was a member of the Periclean Scholars Class of 2017. As a journalist, Oly's skills allow her to understand and work in communities to report on issues objectively and creatively. With a concentration in television and radio, she has had the opportunity for video production internships, such as one with the Atlanta affiliate of Public Broadcasting. With an Anthropology minor, she understands the importance of cultural relativism and avoiding ethnocentrism when working to become integrated in communities. She has traveled throughout Europe, studied abroad in Peru, and spent a semester in Morocco.
Dr. Tom Arcaro, Professor of Sociology, was the Director of the Periclean Scholars Program at Elon University from 2003 to 2017. He founded the program in 2003 and served as the mentor for the inaugural class, the Class of 2006, with focus in Namibia. He has numerous accomplishments and awards, including Daniels-Danieley Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Elon College Excellence in Service/Leadership Award. In his most recent years, he has done extensive research on the humanitarian aid world, leading to the publication of Aid Worker Voices, a book that tells the stories of the more than 1,000 aid workers that he surveyed. His passion and dedication as the Director of the Periclean Scholars program helped to enable the success of the 11 Periclean Scholars classes that have graduated under his directorship.
Killian Poplyk is a senior at Elon University and is producing all of the narration for The Omega Project. He is pursuing a major in both Theatre Studies and Media Arts & Entertainment. Killian is an editor, sound designer, and voice actor (specifically a character voice actor for animation and video games.) This is the first time he will be narrating a documentary and we are thrilled to have him as part of our team! You can check out his YouTube channel, KayVox, or contact him with any business inquiries via his email.
Jacob Gordner graduated from Elon University's Class of 2017 with Bachelor Degrees in Music Production and Recording Arts, and a minor in Business Administration. He was the lead composer for the soundtrack of The Omega Project! Jacob plays both the guitar and the trumpet. Fun Fact: While working on the soundtrack for The Omega Project, Jacob was also working on a musical.
Associate Music Producer
Nik Davies is a Musician, Composer and Producer based in Bristol, UK. Classically trained, Nik is a multi-instrumentalist specializing in guitar and banjo, as well as electronic productions, enabling a breadth of sounds and styles. Nik has composed and produced soundtracks for a range of short films and other multi-media, as well as provided live musical soundscapes for performance artists. Check out more of his music here https://soundcloud.com/nik_davies.
Susan Reynolds graduated from Elon University with a Bachelors Degree in Biochemistry, and minors in Public Health and African Studies. She was a member of the Periclean Scholars Class of 2017. As a Periclean, Susan worked extensively on making contacts. She helped to facilitate relationships with these contacts for the documentary, allowing our network of contacts to grow immensely. She traveled to Namibia with us for our first trip in June of 2016 and was a huge reason behind the success of the trip. Her ability to effectively communicate with people around the world has made her an integral part of this documentary. She has traveled extensively including study abroad experiences in Nicaragua and India, and a summer spent interning in Kenya.
Dr. Carol Smith, Associate Professor of Health and Human Performance, was the Mentor for the Periclean Scholars Class of 2017. She just completed her 17th year at Elon University where she has held numerous leadership roles. Her degrees are in Physical Education and Teacher Education, Health Education, Special Education, and Kinesiology with a concentration in Adventure Based Learning. She has considerable travel experience around the world including living abroad in Japan and leading a study abroad trip to New Zealand.
The overarching goal of the Periclean Scholars program at Elon University is to respond in the most robust and meaningful way possible to the words in Elon's Mission Statement that reads in part, “We integrate learning across the disciplines and put knowledge into practice, thus preparing students to be global citizens and informed leaders motivated by concern for the common good.”
In partnership with people and organizations on the ground in their country of focus, the students of the three-year-long Periclean Scholars program represent a unique academic pathway to do long-term and sustainable work on significant social and environmental global issues. To emphasize: Periclean's never do service for our country of focus or our partners but rather service with these people and organizations. Our approach is described in the Periclean Pledge, a legacy of the Class of 2010:
We pledge to…
Listen to our partnering communities, acknowledging they often have the best solutions to local problems.
Learn about our partner communities’ history and traditions, to better engage in culturally-aware dialogue.
Assist our partners in community-run development projects that will enable their long-term success.
Responsibly study, document, and publicize our partner communities’ needs and desires.
Be committed to building life long sustainable partnerships, recognizing they take hard work and dedication.
Embrace our lifelong journey of global citizenship through intellectual and personal growth.