It is a difficult time for Africans in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen. Drought and war are threatening 20 million lives. Many Poverty, Inc. viewers are wondering, what is the right thing to do in this situation. There are no easy answers to such a tragedy. First, those who are putting their lives on the line to address it should be commended for their initiative; just as important, they should arm themselves with principles gleaned from the past.
World Vision is a multi billion dollar organization with some concerning practices ranging from objectifying poverty imagery to the monetization of subsidized agriculture that undermines local markets in the name of food aid.
As the Better Care Network explains, "The research demonstrates, there are not bad and good orphanages. Rather, orphanages are simply not a good solution for children. Children grow up best in families. Foster families, extended families, and other arrangements. But families, not institutions."
Last month, 61 NGOs signed "An Open Letter to the USDA and USAID on planned peanut shipment to Haiti" and begun an internet firestorm. This is a sign of progress. We'd like to add a Haitian voice to the discussion.
Poverty, Inc. co-producer Mark R. Weber discusses orphans, microfinance, fair trade, social entrepreneurship, and other lessons learned making Poverty, Inc. at the Jubilee Professional conference in Pittsburgh.
Speaking on a panel called "Growth Markets, Development Opportunities: Africa & the Middle East" this evening at the MIT World Real Estate Forum at the MIT Media Lab, Accra-based real estate Carlo Matta of Laurus Development Partners explained the pervasive challenge of land title ambiguity dampening economic activity in countries like Ghana.
Poverty, Inc. will make its DVD and Video On Demand release on March 1st, and we are delighted to announce that the Spanish dubbing and subtitling will be included in all purchases of the film.
Why do we charge money for Poverty, Inc.? Are we profiting from poverty? Co-Producer Mark Weber explains why pricing is important for accountability and impact.
"You don't make documentaries to win awards. You make them to change culture." That's when I decided to defer MIT and spend the year touring with the film, engaging people around the country and internationally on these ideas.