Free A Family video from Mozambique – World Renew

I recently introduced you to the Khoma Family of Mozambique’s Tete Province, and shared an album of images documenting various activities from their day-to-day lives that I captured for World Renew. As you may remember, the Khomas are that organisation’s ‘representative family’ from Southern Africa, one of five families from around the world that help them demonstrate how its ‘Free A Family‘ initiative works and makes a difference in places beset by widespread poverty.

Today, I’d like to share the icing on the cake from this project, a 2½-minute video:

Church congregations as donors

World Renew is a faith-based organisation, and most of its funding comes from church congregations in the United States and Canada. This video will be projected on big screens for these congregations in order to help them understand the Free A Family model and how it’s resulting in positive, meaningful change for individual families across Southern Africa.

Informative, peppy and accessible

Bear in mind, of course, that few of those watching will be international development professionals. So the challenge was to help viewers feel like they’ve been deposited there on the ground in rural Mozambique, allowing them to get a quick feel for the life and culture there, while breaking the subject matter down into laypeople’s terms and presenting it in a fun, peppy manner. I hope you’ll feel that I’ve achieved something close to this here!

Sustainable development

The song the farmers are singing in the video is very relevant in a sustainable development context, so I thought you might appreciate a chance to read the words in English. Here you go:

We don’t want to buy maize (x3), we can grow it ourselves. (Entire line repeated x2.)
We grow it ourselves. (Repeated x8.)

We don’t want to buy beans (x3), we can grow them ourselves. (Entire line repeated x2.)
We grow it ourselves. (Repeated x8.)

We don’t want to buy peanuts (x3), we can grow them ourselves. (Entire line repeated x2.)
We grow it ourselves. (Repeated x8.)

We don’t want to buy cassava (x3), we can grow it ourselves. (Entire line repeated x2.)
We grow it ourselves. (Repeated x8.)

We don’t want to buy millet (x3), we can grow it ourselves. (Entire line repeated x2.)
We grow it ourselves. (Repeated x8.)

SmileTrain – Update on Vincent’s cleft repair

Yesterday, I published my full gallery of images from my recent work for SmileTrain in Malawi. Not four hours later, I received something very unexpected from Mzuzu Central Hospital: a couple of photographs of Vincent, who had come back to have his final sutures removed after his cleft lip correction surgery. And my, what a difference! It’s really quite astounding. See for yourself:

smiletrain update vincent cleft repair SmileTrain   Update on Vincents cleft repair

Vincent Botha, just 7.5 weeks after receiving corrective surgery for his cleft lip. In the left-hand image, he is sitting with Dr Amiel Caspillo (left) and Senior Dental Officer Cypriano Mlauzi (right).

I personally found that I needed to look quite closely, even at the photo on the right, to realise that this was someone who’d once had a cleft lip. And I’m used to looking at really fine details of images pretty much every day! In case you’ve not seen Vincent before, this is how he looked just 7.5 weeks before the images above were shot:

IMG39955 SmileTrain   Update on Vincents cleft repair

Vincent at home, just a day before his life-changing surgery. He had been living with a cleft lip for 43 years. CLICK THE IMAGE TO VIEW THE FULL GALLERY.

Hats off to SmileTrain, and specifically to Dr Amiel Caspillo, Senior Dental Technician Kalyoto Ngosi and the rest of their team! You are miracle workers.

SmileTrain – Images from Malawi

You may recall that about a couple of months back, I published a teaser on my website about some work I’d recently done for SmileTrain in Malawi. I said that if you sign up for my newsletter, I would soon be sharing a fuller version of the story with you. Well, if you signed up, that’s what you can look forward in this month’s edition, the final issue of 2013. And if you can’t wait for the newsletter, you can CLICK THE IMAGE below to view all 103 images in the full gallery. Usage rights may be purchased for all of these images, but note that the photographer must be credited and reference made to SmileTrain’s work.

IMG40201 SmileTrain   Images from Malawi

CLICK THE IMAGE to explore the gallery.

Dr Caspillo, United Nations Volunteer (UNV)

The man pictured above, proudly wearing the SmileTrain T’shirt, is Dr Amiel Caspillo. He is the brilliant young man who led the surgeries I observed during this assignment. For over four years, he has been living thousands of miles from his home nation (the Philippines), serving the people of northern Malawi as a United Nations Volunteer (UNV).

This is not a job one does for the money (as you can tell from the title). I got a very clear sense from Dr Caspillo that it’s a calling he’s following out of passion for and belief in the cause. I could see it on his face as he sat with his patient Alick, above. Just another example of the kind of person I keep meeting along this path I started to tread back in 2010 when I decided to become a visual storyteller. People who follow their passions, and in so doing help to make the world a better place.

World Renew – Free A Family in Mozambique

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post, ‘Concern Worldwide – Securing a better future for Malawi’s girls‘, I have great pleasure in sharing another gallery of images from my recent work in Southern Africa, this time from Mozambique. I was commissioned by World Renew to visit the Khoma Family in Tete Province and tell the story of the organisation’s work with them through images, words and also video (which will be released soon). Please CLICK THE IMAGE below to go to the full gallery.

IMG39670 World Renew   Free A Family in Mozambique

CLICK THE IMAGE to explore the gallery.

‘Free A Family’ by World Renew

Free A Family is a programme developed by World Renew that seeks to help people overcome poverty through community projects in agriculture, health, nutrition, literacy and beyond. It aims to help all its participants secure nutritious food, clean water, improved health and increased income.

While most organisations that follow a sponsorship model present sponsors with material gathered from each of the families or children they work to show their development over time, World Renew believes that this is not a very efficient way of doing things. Instead, it has chosen a single ‘representative family’ from among the thousands in each of the world regions it’s working in, and is sharing just these families’ stories as their participation in the programme unfolds over time. Through this approach, they are able to keep administrative costs far lower, meaning that more of the funds donated can be used directly to help people in need.

The Khoma Family

This gallery introduces you to the Khoma Family in Mozambique, World Renew’s representative family for Southern Africa. Through these images and their detailed captions, you’ll meet Fidelis, Velinasi and five of their children. You’ll see how they live and work as rural subsistence farmers, and get an insight into how, through its local partner the Reformed Church in Mozambique, World Renew has been working with them to help them secure improved livelihoods in this country that lies 185th out of 187 countries and territories on the 2012 Human Development Index (HDI).

Usage rights may be purchased for all images in the gallery, but note that the photographer must be credited.

Concern Worldwide – Securing a better future for Malawi’s girls

Today, I have pleasure in sharing the first gallery of images from my recent month-long trip to Malawi and Mozambique. It comes from an assignment for Concern Worldwide in Malawi’s extreme south, where I was asked to create ‘knowledge products’ drawing on the lessons learned from the organisation’s education projects. While these held girls at the core, they focused variously on getting girls into schooling, improving the educational experience there and tackling school-related gender-based violence. Please CLICK THE IMAGE below to go to the full gallery.

IMG38916 Concern Worldwide   Securing a better future for Malawis girls

CLICK THE IMAGE to explore the gallery.

Gender inequality in Nsanje, Malawi

Malawi ranks 124th out of 186 countries on the 2012 Gender Inequality Index. Many girls in the southernmost district of Nsanje drop out of school as a result of forced marriages. Thus, there is marked gender disparity in access to essential tools for social and economic development. Indeed, gender inequality permeates the lives of most women and girls in Malawi, manifesting as exclusion from decision-making processes, lack of economic opportunities, low levels of education and high prevalence of violence.

Tackling school-related gender-based violence

Concern Worldwide’s education programmes in Nsanje seek to enable children, particularly girls and those from marginalised groups, to gain access to education so that they can develop to their fullest potential. To achieve this, Concern is implementing a project funded by the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, titled ‘Ending School-related Gender-based Violence in Malawi’. School-related gender-based violence represents a considerable barrier to participation in education, gender equality and achievement of Education for All and the Millennium Development Goals.

The project empowers students to speak out about issues that affect them using the medium of interactive theatre, and also engages men specifically to fight gender-based violence (GBV) as the main perpetrators of GBV themselves.

Using theatre and ‘happy classrooms’

These images document this work, led by Concern’s partner Theatre for a Change, and also allied education work that has sought not only to get more girls enrolled in school but also to keep them there. For example, working with a local organisation called boNGO using funding from The Scottish Government, Concern has created ‘Happy Classrooms‘ designed to bring colour and liveliness to the learning experience.

Also documented is the success story of Alinafe, a young girl who is doing well in school and yet almost dropped out recently to get married.

Note that images are displayed in the order captured, not as a story. Nevertheless, full details of the scene can be found in the captions. Usage rights may be purchased for all images in the gallery, but note that the photographer and Concern Worldwide’s project must both be credited.