Free a Family video from Kenya – World Renew

Elsewhere on this site, you may have come across the video I shot for World Renew in Mozambique last year. In case you haven’t, it’s here. It’s a peppy 2½-minute introduction to the Khoma Family, the Southern Africa representative family for the organisation’s ‘Free a Family‘ programme. I was asked to produce something short and lively that could be shown on big screens to the church groups that support World Renew across Canada and the United States. Apparently, it was a big success, so earlier this year I was asked to go to Kenya to shoot a similar video on the programme’s Eastern Africa representative family, the Onchenges. Today, I’m proud to share the finished product:

The Onchenge family

In 2007, the Onchenge family was displaced from their home when violence swept through the region following a contested election. Their house was burned down and the family fled and lived in a camp for internally displaced persons for a year. Four years ago, they were resettled in Blue-Banita Gichagi village, where they built a small mud home.

Recently, World Renew began working in this region through a new partnership with Nakuru Region Inter-Diocesan Christian Community Services (NRIDCCS). NRIDCCS works with the Onchenge family to help them find sustainable ways to improve their lives.

Many years ago, Mr Onchenge had a road accident and lost one of his legs. Despite this physical disability, he and his family work hard to grow food on their plot of land. NRIDCCS is teaching them how to use new farming techniques and different types of seeds in order to grow and harvest more food throughout the year. It is also encouraging the Onchenge family and their neighbours to raise different types of animals in order to diversify their sources of income.

If you would like to support families like the Onchenges, click here to make a donation.

Postcard from Port-au-Prince, Haiti

How storybook-like is this?! I’m currently in Port-au-Prince in the Caribbean nation of Haiti, having just arrived from London via New York. This was the view from my hotel room at dusk this evening. The sky was so beautiful that the view merited a photo, even without the colourful houses. When I saw how the suburb of Jalousie had been painted, I just had to capture the scene and send you a postcard.

humanitarian development caribbean haiti port au prince jalousie slum development 59489 Postcard from Port au Prince, Haiti

The colourful hillside suburb of Jalousie looks down over the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

Unfortunately, I later learned that the slum painting initiative, part of a project to relocate people from the 2010 earthquake displacement camps, has been somewhat controversial. You can read about this here. I also heard that the slum was painted this way to give visiting tourists and businessmen the impression that Haitians live a colourful lifestyle, and not in unserviced, deprived slums. Indeed, this is the view not only from the hotel I was staying at but also from other luxury hotels, such as the Royal Oasis, infamous for being built with post-earthquake loans from leading development organisations. Sigh!

Anyway, let me just add that I’m in Haiti for two assignments, one for the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) and another for SmileTrain. For the IAF, I will be shooting here in Port-au-Prince and also in the northern city of Cap-Haïtien, covering the work of three of the organisation’s grantees. Then I’ll be staying on in Cap-Haïtien, where I’ll be joined by a team of surgeons, anaesthesiologists and nurses when SmileTrain come to town. Stay tuned for the stories!