Please check out my latest video filmed in Italy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqEqUnXlDug
Please check out this other awesome video that was inspired by my initial one, which also promotes a great cause: vimeo.com/22178263?ab
Many people talk about the rise of India today, yet one sixth of the entire population face many forms of appaling injustices and discrimination (http://www.ncdhr.org.in/ncdhr2/dalits-untouchability/dalits-untouchability). That is part of the reason I was compelled to create this music video. However, I wanted to spread the message in a creative and unique way that is not generally associated with the traditional charity/raising awareness type videos. I wanted to portray these kids as they really are; full of life, full of potential, and just like any other kids I have ever met. Thus, I used elements of our own popular culture so that we could look past the poverty they live in and see them for what they really are, us.
Please note, that although we were working in a Dalit village I cannot confirm that ALL of these kids featured in this video were in fact Dalit. I don’t think it matters because the point is still the same; all kids, regardless of background, deserve to be valued and deserve to have equal access to opportunities.
For more information on Dalits please visit these sites or you can do some research on Google:
For more information on how you can help these kids out by either becoming a volunteer, donating or starting your own fundraiser, please check out the site and read below:
The Association of Relief Volunteers and Longitude were the organizations that I volunteered with. The following is information sent to me by a fellow volunteer at Longitude:
"Since 2005, Longitude has been sending international volunteers to India to work with ARV. The vast majority have taken part in work camps to help build houses. ARV and Longitude also collaborate to run a child's education initiative, called a Child's Chance Program. This program was implemented in the Fall of 2009 in 5 villages that ARV already works in, with Chevuru being the first and most successful program.
Based on the living conditions for the people of Chevuru and their isolation to a greater community, many of the village children do very poorly and drop out of school. Often, their parents do no understand the value of an education and place greater importance on domestic chores and agricultural work for an income. Even if a child wanted to learn and succeed in school, there are many factors working against them.
The Child Chance Program seeks to improve this situation by providing more accessibility to education for Chevuru children. Generous donations have allowed ARV to supply a certified teacher to Chevuru to provide 3 hours of after-school tutoring and lessons 6 days a week! And our attendance records have proved that these children want to learn by showing up everyday. In our first year alone, 100% of students improved their grades and/or attendance at school for at least a term. 30 of 35 10th year students passed their exams in order to continue their education to secondary school and college!
These successes will ultimately be the catalyst that lifts these families out of destitute poverty. We are very excited about the positive changes we've already seen, and hope for even greater changes to come! Please visit our website to learn more about the program. Make sure to stay involved reading blogs, donating to Child Chance campaigns, and starting your own fundraiser to educate and sponsor these children in their efforts to build a better life."