Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Video from the Horn of Africa

When I was in Uganda this spring, the Prime Minister was sending out text messages urging Ugandans to store food for the coming drought. We were waiting and waiting for rainy season to arrive, and watching food prices increase while inflation depressed buying power. It felt like impending disaster, but somehow the rains came, and the harvests came - for Northern Uganda.

In contrast, the northern areas of Kenya and Somalia are suffering from the worst famine in decades. The saddest part is that no one seems to be talking about it (outside of my Twitter feed, which follows a lot of aid workers in East Africa). The situation is dire, and there are things that you can do. For starters, watch this video of Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya.

Footage from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya relating to Horn of Africa food crisis from World Vision ACT:S on Vimeo.

What can you do? Adapted from World Vision:

In this footage, you will see stories being told that words cannot quite capture. World Vision staff who travelled to Kenya shared these nine minutes of video clips so that we can see and connect.  The faces, tents, barren land, and sounds of Dadaab in Northern Kenya, the world’s largest refugee camp, paint a picture and tell a story that is difficult for us to understand.

Here’s the thing:  it’s simply nine minutes of footage. No music. No narration. No statistics. Just the sights and sounds of the camp. “The humanity of the refugees really shines through what is an intimate look at a people suffering quietly,” as one viewer described it.

Here are a few ways to use this powerful footage with your group:
1. Play it as people are entering an event.
2. Play and watch it as-is during an event.  It may get uncomfortable, but use that as leverage to start discussions. 
3. Have people write out the thoughts and feelings they experience as they watch the footage and discuss afterwards. 
4. Share it.  Post it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or forward it in an email.  Make it available to those who need to see it.

Those suffering from the famine in the Horn of Africa have a face, have a name, have a story. Take the time to watch this footage, share it with your network, and incorporate it into your activism.

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