How long does it take you to collect water for the day? Does your water contain any chemicals that could lead to life threatening diseases? These are the questions I wanted people to ask themselves after watching this short campaign video.
This project involved four videos: one longer feature telling the story of Marling – a mother living in the affected community of San Pedro Nuevo, a social media friendly trailer for the main video, an appeal to Nicaraguans from a staff member and an appeal from the director
The campaign successfully raised £6,500 – beating its target of £6000.
San Pedro Nuevo is a village of 135 families near the Telica Volcano in Nicaragua. Before 2017 the only water source in the village was a hand dug well containing water contaminated with arsenic – a chemical that over time can cause skin cancer and other life threatening illnesses. In 2015 Nuevas Esperanzas (British NGO working in rural Nicaragua) started a project to bring a new, clean water source into the village. Due a number of factors (mainly the decline in the pound after Brexit) the NGO was left short on funds to finish the project so decided to run a dedicated campaign to raise the remainder that was needed.
In order to create a personal connection between the viewer and the cause I decided to focus on one person in the community and tell a clear story of their every-day water related tasks – particularly those that contrast sharply the lives of normal western donors. In addition it was important to highlight the consequences of those differences. In doing so I found the project also affecting me on a personal level.
I was well aware of the issues facing Marling and her family (I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on arsenic pollution in water) but spending the whole day with her to understand and document her situation altered my perspective. Even more so during editing – watching the clip of her daughter riding the horse back and forth the pull water up the well multiple times was a stark reminder of how much I take my life for granted. These thoughts and feelings ultimately hardened my resolve to tell Marling’s story as it is to make it real and relatable.