Video Against Poverty

Schoolgirls in Kalimpong, West Bengal, India.  Photo / Julie Zhu 
This is week two of my campaign Video Against Poverty and I'm more than 2/3 of the way to my goal of $2600.00.  This has been totally unexpected and is a really humbling endorsement of what I'm trying to do.  That said - I'm still looking for contributors - either of money or (possibly) equipment - so please read on!

In November I'll be travelling to Kalimpong, West Bengal, India where I'll teach representatives from around 15 local charities how to create web videos and social media to engage their communities, raise more money and increase their impact on poverty.  I'll also be doing a number of school visits.

You might know that I spent time in Kalimpong in 2012, directing a promo for a couple of charities, the Glenn Family Foundation India and p3 Foundation. The work I saw being done was for-real, ground-up, poverty-busting action that truly empowered local people. It inspired me so much that I volunteered as Communications Manager for p3 in 2013, but I wanted to do more. This year I'm keeping a promise I made in 2012 to go back to Kalimpong and share what I know. 

Because I'm a filmmaker with a few awards under my belt and have experience with communications and outreach I've been invited to run two workshops in a two-day seminar. One will be on video production - everything from shooting to editing to uploading to the internet. The other will be on social media - how to use electronic communications to reach the people you need to communicate with.

I'm keeping the budget ($2600.00) to the bare bones:
Air ticket: $2030.00

Accommodation and meals (6 days): $300.00
Workshop materials: $70.00
Transport to and from the airport (2.5 hours drive): $200.00

Any money raised over my basic expenses will be used to purchase resources for rural schools in Kalimpong, the Bal Suraksha Abhiyan Rehabilitation Centre for children rescued from child labour or The Glenn Family Foundation India.

Because the campaign is going so well, I'm also starting to think about sourcing a nice easy-to-use camera, mic and tripod to leave over there for the charities to borrow for their projects.  Sound is a particular issue.  W
hile some people have quite good cameras in the form of older handycams and cell phones, they don't have any easy way to record decent sound so something which allows them to do this is important. 

If anyone is reading this and has a handycam, bluetooth mic, light tripod or similar which they'd like to donate, contact me and I'll let you know if it could be useful. 

I'm really excited to be able to keep my promise to return to Kalimpong.  If you're thinking of getting involved, a little sweetener - anyone who donates to Video Against Poverty will receive a full resolution digital still image from Kalimpong via email to say thank you on my return.