Monday, July 12, 2010

Previewing a PBS documentary on international aid

This Thursday, PBS will air a documentary about aid projects that go wrong. Jeremy Levine documented a couple of projects in "Good Fortune" that were simply unwanted by the local people. One such project planned on flooding an area to of Kenya to make a large rice farm, but the people had to move out of their homes first to make way for the flooding.

From the Salem News, writer Cate Lecuyer profiles Levine and the upcoming documentary.

On Thursday, PBS will air what he, and co-producer Landon Van Soest, did film in the documentary "Good Fortune." It's on at 9 p.m. on Channel 44, part of the POV (Point of View) series.

In rural Kenya, they follow Jackson Omondi, whose farm is being flooded. Across the country in Nairobi, they meet Silva Adhiambo, whose home and business in Africa's largest shantytown are being demolished as part of a United Nations slum-upgrading project.

Each project demonstrates how massive international relief efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa may be hurting the communities they aim to help, Levine said.

With more than $2.3 trillion in aid to Africa over the past 50 years, the film explores why many communities are not only disillusioned by the projects, but fighting to stop them.

"You can't impose help on people," Levine said. "It has to come from the grass roots."

No comments: