Video Volunteers and the Red Cross Help Communities across India Testify to Vast Problem of Hunger
NEW YORK – October 14, 2011 – On the eve of World Food Day – October 16 – Video Volunteers is releasing 12 documentary videos created by people living in slums and villages across India whose communities are facing extreme hunger and impoverishment. For the Hunger Video Project, individuals from the communities themselves are reporting on the poverty in their country, giving voice to an otherwise marginalized population.
The Hunger Video Project is a collaboration between Video Volunteers, an international media and human rights organization, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world’s largest humanitarian organization. By training community members as video reporters, Video Volunteers and the IFRC are able to document and bring out the hidden voices behind India’s hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity statistics.
“Even though India is portrayed by many as a fast-growing ‘emerging market’ with an exploding middle class, these videos reveal that much of India is still plagued by poverty,” says Jessica Mayberry, the founder of Video Volunteers. “Yet the world continues to ignore this. Who better to show us this reality than the people themselves who experience this poverty and hunger? That’s why we wanted people from the affected communities to make the videos, not outsiders.” From Jammu and Kashmir in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south, from the slums of metropolitan Mumbai along the west coast to the villages of Assam in the northeast, the 12 videos in the Hunger Video Project offer a stark portrayal of a country where 230 million people go hungry every day.
Mukesh Rajak, a community correspondent from Jharkhand, commented on the video he made about a family living in a village nearby: “Producing the video was a very sad experience for me. When the wife of the family I interviewed asked me how she was supposed to feed her children given the crippling poverty in which they lived, I felt tears choke my throat. I felt like the people’s existence itself was being taken away from them. It was like society had deemed that these people had no right to live.”
The Hunger Video Project is part of the World Disaster Report 2011, a joint collaboration between the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the IFRC, which aims to answer the fundamental question: “Why do one billion people across the world go to sleep hungry each night when the world is producing enough food for everyone?” With these videos, the program is attempting to draw attention to and call for immediate action to remedy this disparity.
The videos have been shown at the launch events for the report at various cities around the world, and are being displayed on an interactive map on the Red Cross website. http://www.ifrc.org/wdr-map.
The videos can be viewed by clicking here.
About Video Volunteers
Video Volunteers identifies, trains and empowers grassroots media producers who create change in and for voiceless communities in the developing world. The organization’s work has been recognized by the Knight News Challenge, Echoing Green, TED, Waldzell, the King of Belgium, UNDP, UNESCO, YouTube, and others who have helped Video Volunteers elevate the voices of these rural communities.
If you wish to speak with Jessica Mayberry or Chair of the Board Davia Temin, please contact Trang Mar at Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or email@example.com.
For further information on Video Volunteers please visit www.videovolunteers.org or follow us @twitter/video volunteers or fan us on Facebook/Video Volunteers.
For further information on the Red Cross or on the 2011 World Disasters Report, please visit http://www.ifrc.org/en/publications-and-reports/world-disasters-report/wdr2011.
(map by feedingminds)
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