On March 13th and 14th 2015, severe tropical cyclone Pam tore through the South Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu with destructive winds of up to 250 kilometres p/hour that flattened homes, destroyed schools and people gardens and left large areas of the country completely defoliated. The country’s 250,000 people are still facing unprecedented devastation.
Below is a short video story of James, who lost his house and his school. I’ve produced it for ChildFund and Live&Learn earlier this year. You can help James and other children of Vanuatu to rebuild the schools by donating to ChildFund:
In 2013 I have worked with The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ on a photo and video story of Bibiane, who suffered in isolation with cataract blindness. Have a look at this video and support The Fred Hollows Foundation’s work in Papua New Guinea and other Pacific countries.
Bibiane suffers in isolation with cataract blindness. As a respected elder and the matriarch of her family, she should be enjoying time with her grandchildren and her community. Instead she’s totally dependent on her grandson to lead her around even for basic things like going to the toilet or getting to the river for a bath.
But Bibiane’s condition is completely curable. The problem is that there are not enough eye doctors in PNG. For a population of 7.2 million people there are only 9 eye doctors. As a result people like Bibiane have been living with blindness for years.
The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ is working to change this picture. From its clinic in Madang, The Foundation is training local eye doctors and nurses to help the people of PNG, people like Bibiane.
Vlad Sokhin returns to PNG to spend extended periods of time with Bibiane and her family. This video is an intimate portrait of Bibiane’s story of transformation. He has behind the scenes access to the medical facilities at Modilon Hospital and he tenderly takes us into her world of sadness and hope.
The video is an emotional portrait of one of the thousands of patients The Foundation helps each year. Because of lack of access to adequate health care, the human rights of Bibiane have been infringed and her quality of life has suffered enormously. The Foundation continues the legacy of Prof Fred Hollows as a champion of human dignity and social justice. The Foundation works to ensure that the developing world does not get second-rate eye care, but rather everyone should be able to see again as a human right.