About 2 months ago, I was asked by Proctor and Gamble, our safe drinking water partner, if we would be willing to participate in a Walmart marketing effort that would generate funds to support safe drinking water programs. With financial support from Walmart, we would film a couple of our program families to learn about their water sources, water- borne disease they had suffered, and introduction to the P&G Safe Drinking Water product we distribute. The photos and videos would be used in a campaign throughout Europe.
When I arrived back in Tanzania to do the shoot, I thought the biggest challenge I faced would be finding videographers who were professional enough to produce the high quality film Walmart required. But there was a resource right under my nose that fit the bill perfectly.
The Kilimanjaro Film Institute is a training center for future media folks that came out of the lack of employment options for Tanzanian young people. If you ask a 14 year old boy about his career plans here, he will most likely tell you he wants to be a tour guide. The brainchild of a French photographer, the Institute offers a 21st century option that has been fantastically successful. 86% of graduates are employed after training and internship- some of them on TV stations in Dar es Salaam, some with production companies, and some as trainers and professionals right here at the Institute.
I visited students in the editing lab, observed others in a camera technique class, and came away so impressed and happy that Pamoja Project had a new partner.
You see, the money made by the team we employ for this work goes back to support the Film Institute. And since Walmart has asked us to return for follow up filming in 6 months and then 1 year, we (and Walmart $$) will be directly supporting the Kilimanjaro Film Institute as well as our folks in the safe drinking water program. Just the kind of synchronicity we love!
Plus, guess what I am going to be suggesting as a career move to kids I meet now..... Welcome to our newest vocational training option for sponsored kids- the Kilimanjaro Film Institute.