Thankfully, the world is full of good intentions. The problem is everyone is vying for our attention and our affections. Getting buy-in from the right people, prompting people to support, share and care are key to achieving real success.
In a time of compassion fatigue and charity-scepticism, honesty is key. People want stories told from the heart. Stories about real people’s lives, told from their own perspective. Stories about people coming up with their own solutions, not being told how to live their lives by outsiders.
At Cloud9Media, we are proud our transparency, our determination to celebrate the positive, and our part in making the world a better place.
Sightsavers delivers the one billionth treatment for River Blindness, a parasite-borne condition that leads to severe disability and the destruction of entire communities. Because of mass treatment programmes like those run by Sightsavers, young children like Dorcas can live a very different life to her grandfather, who was made blind by river blindness.
Cloud9Media was there to witness this incredible moment – reminding us how incredibly important this work is.
Cloud9Media spent an action-packed week in Western Uganda to create video and photographic coverage for TV presenter Charlie Webster’s recent trip as she saw with her own eyes the impact of malaria – and come to terms with a fatal disease that she caught herself two years ago.
Sightsavers had originally wanted to invite three community medicine distributors form around Africa to speak at the launch of the Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases Declaration, at the Natural History Museum in London. With the WHO and Gates Foundation amongst the delegates they wanted to communicate the success stories on the ground. However getting visas in such a short space of time ruled this out.
Wrangling with customs officers, visas and hugely long car journeys we filmed over 10 days in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia, where we travelled to the remotest regions to hear these people’s stories.
Hosted by Sightsavers and attended by over 200 people from across the pharma, donor and NGO sectors incl. the Gates Foundation and World Health Organisation, the film was used to launch a discussion on the importance of attaining the WHO 2020 goals for neglected tropical diseases.
Getting people to stand up and take action is at the core of the Mectizan Donation Programme’s remit. Especially when the intended audience are Ministers of Health in African countries. This is the first of a series of films intended to get key influencers to commit to putting their name to a 30 year-long elimination programme – ridding Africa of River Blindness or onchocerciasis. If we work together we can stamp out oncho!
We used a local fixer to go in search of stories that were set up in advance of our shooting producer director’s arrival. We then worked with a wonderful local photographer and camera assistant to create a more integrated team and integrate more in to remote and challenging settings.
It started off a relationship with Cameroon that continues to this day, adding to the list of the many African countries that we have ties with.
Charles and his remote eye surgery team (supported by Sightsavers and UTCNTDs) is on hand to find people with trachoma and transport them to the mobile eye surgery where they can be treated. A simple operation can be hugely effective, often restoring full sight. Equally importantly, health education work is being carried out in these regions to help prevention of trachoma, which is transmitted by flies, for future generations.
To film the story, we took a five-hour road trip from Nairobi to Kajioda County to work in dry and sometimes difficult shooting conditions. But it was truly inspiring to see the impact that this programme is having on individuals and families – people come in blind, and they leave with their vision restored. Thanks to the work of UTCNTDs, Sightsavers and The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, who support local healthcare teams, we think this is a truly awesome programme. The film was played at the UTCNTDs UN conference in 2015, and we were proud to help share this story with a wider audience.