Matt, Ahmed filming, Liboi, Kenya
24 July 2011
THANKS to the 76 people who have contributed to Survival Backpacks for Somali refugees in Kenya. A quick update and a request for all of you to reach out to others. You are the people best qualified to reach more people, get more resources and assist more Somali refugees. Your support makes a difference for the young filmmakers who are dedicating their time, skills and resources to reach Somali refugees on the border with Kenya.
Here's what we have accomplished so far. Using their own resources, a Survival Backpacks team of three Somali filmmakers Ahmed Farah (Founder RIYO Films and Director of HCTV Africa), Abdisalaan Aato (Founder of Bartamaha and Wargelin popular somali website) and Deeq. M. Afrika (Co-founder of Global Somali Youth Agenda and founder of Aduunyo.com, popular Somali website ) together with two filmmakers from Hot Sun Foundation, Claudette Oduor (Kenya) and Matt Wilder (USA) went to Liboi, Kenya on the border with Somalia. While they were in Liboi, the Survival Backpacks team saw no other organizations yet present to assist the thousands of Somali refugees camped out in the sand and dust.
For a firsthand report on what the Survival Backpacks team saw and did, go to http://globalsomaliresponse.wordpress.com/.
An example of the response from Somali refugees to Survival Backpacks team: We said to one of the refugees, 'We know this is very little. We are sorry if this is not enough for you and your family, but there are very many people on the road and we have to save a little for them as well." Do you know what the refugee did? He returned half of the little we had given him. "Please," he said, "Give it to them."
Right now the filmmaker team is working on a short documentary about the situation facing Somali refugees on their way to Dadaab. The trailer is on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR_1G1yOEbA Dadaab: Get there or Die Trying. Survival Backpacks is featured on AfricaFocus Bulletin http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/som1107a.php.
As a supporter, you are part of a unique project that arose from the on-the-ground work at Dadaab refugee camp by Somali filmmaker Ahmed Farah. Because Hot Sun Foundation has worked with Ahmed and exists as a community media program with infrastructure, we were able to help immediately. Survival Backpacks is an innovative intervention by young filmmakers that has a powerful psychological impact as well as materially assisting refugees.
We are requesting that each of you send at least five emails to friends and family and post information about Survival Backpacks on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. We post daily the results of donations to Survival Backpacks on Global Giving and send out individual thank you's to every supporter.
All of the Survival Backpacks team and members of Hot Sun Foundation thank you for your support.
Abdisalaan with Somali refugees Liboi, Kenya