Between March and June 2008, One World Media, together with TVE (Television Trust for the Environment), supported five broadcasters to go to developing countries and explore projects relating to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Read on to find out who they were and what they did.
Rafael spent time in the Hansala region of northern Morocco, home to large numbers of people who try to cross the Straits of Gibraltar and reach Spain. Many of those who attempt this illegal immigration are now dying, and among other people, he spoke to natives of Hansala who had been directly affected by this growing humanitarian crisis. He also spent time with the NGO Solidaridad Directa, which aims to tackle the circumstances that create the need for illegal immigration.
After publishing articles about the situation, Solidaridad Directa received pledges of support from a number of individuals and companies.
Read his articles:
Death Shatters Migration Dream (BBC Online)
From Shipwreck to Solidarity (BBC Online)
Paulina focused on gender equality and women’s empowerment, by visiting a small community called Awra Amba in northwest Ethiopia in which men and women are viewed equally. Through this, she learned about the inequalities faced by women and girls outside the village. She has since developed a half-hour documentary - click here to visit the dedicated site. She writes:
"Awra Amba has in recent years had a lot of attention thanks to its progressive ideas of gender equality. My aim was to paint a positive picture of a country that usually only receives media attention when a disaster happens.
I worked towards a 30-minute documentary about the lives of people in the community. My main characters are a 50-year-old woman (the village café-keeper) and her daughter who had recently moved in with her. Through their stories, I learned about the hardships and inequalities women and girls face in this region of Ethiopia, dominated by lack of education and reproductive rights. I was also shocked to learn how common violence towards women is. Since moving to Awra Amba, their lives have improved dramatically and they are able to get on with fulfilling their potential.
The brilliance of Awra Amba comes partly from being established by a man, who wanted to improve conditions for women and who believes that all humans are equal. I was very impressed and touched by how a small, home-grown community founded by mainly illiterate farmers has had such an impact on people’s attitudes and become a model for gender equality in Ethiopia."
Anna went to Rwanda and investigated whether it is possible to have development and conservation together – or will the environment lose out if a greater emphasis is put on projects that directly benefit people? In particular, she spent time with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, an organisation that aims to conserve the natural environment while bringing home the benefits of its projects to local people.
Since her trip, Anna has produced features and reports for BBC Radio 4, the World Service, and Deutsche Welle.
Huub went to Sierra Leone and was based with the organisation Environmental Foundation for Africa (EFA), which has started a campaign to raise awareness of environmental issues in that country.
Huub worked with the organisation to make a series of documentaries about environmental degradation, starting with a pilot which was broadcast on national TV in Sierra Leone. This programme has already had some important outcomes: it sparked an investigation into a link between the Vice President and one logging company and, in addition, the Head of Forestry was suspended under suspicion of improper practice.
Nadene went to Afghanistan to investigate the effects of rising crime rates on ordinary Afghans, a topic which is often neglected in the war on terror. Nadene also travelled to the border area where Afghanistan meets Pakistan, where militants from various other countries have arrived to fight the US and UK forces. She reported on how these forces are struggling to establish order in this dangerous area.
Nadene has since made reports for BBC Radio 5 Live, and was commissioned to go back to Afghanistan by a major national newspaper.