PLAYING TO LIVE
Overview: In December 2015 UNICEF LIberia commissioned Namuh to work on various Ebola related stories to raise awareness about the disease. One of the stories that NAMUH worked on was about Helena Baker, an Ebola survivor who lost her husband to the disease. While in the Ebola Treatment Unit, Baker met a young girl named Deedeh, an Ebola survivor who had also lost her parents to the Ebola. Baker later adopted Deedeh into her family. Baker was able to find work with the UNICEF supported NGO, Playing to Live. The organization uses art, play and self expression to help children cope with trauma.
Goal: Helena Baker looked at her circumstances with the will to make the best out of her situation. The objective was to show how UNICEF helped to support Helena to keep her children safe and in school with the stipend she received working for Playing to Live. Also, the film was used to show the difficulties Ebola survivors face even after the epidemic stopped spreading.
Challenges: Namuh discovered Playing to Live through a local contact and learned that UNICEF had given the organization a six month grant. After the UNICEF Communication Specialist approved the story, we contacted the organization. We met with one woman the organization thought would be a good candidate, but felt her story was not strong enough. Once we were told about Helena’s story, we thought it would make a compelling film. She agreed to participate and we started filming. There were many parts to Helena’s story that needed to be addressed in order to achieve the overall goal of the film. Weaving all of the details of her narrative into a four minute film while trying to keeping it personable proved challenging.We interviewed Deedeh and her older sister a month after Helena to help tie the story together. It also gave both girls time to become comfortable with the camera.
Result: The final film was displayed on UNICEF USA’s Facebook page and YouTube site to help raise awareness and support. When shown on UNICEF USA’s Facebook page, the film received 9,465 views.
About the Client: About the Client: UNICEF is the agency of the United Nations mandated to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.