UNICEF Global Mapping Study
II was contracted for this project by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to conduct a global mapping of best practices in communication for development (C4D) to support peacebuilding and conflict transformation around the world.
This study, commissioned by the UNICEF C4D unit, was a direct contribution to the four-year Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Program, an innovative, cross-sectoral program focusing on education and peacebuilding. Its overall goal is to strengthen resilience, social cohesion, and human security in
conflict-affected contexts, including countries at risk of, experiencing or recovering from conflict.
Through a combination of literature review and key informant interviews, I was tasked to undertake a 5- to 10-year retrospective study of how communication strategies have been integrated into overall peacebuilding processes around the world. The results of this study fed directly into the national-level,
Country Office-driven conflict analyses and peacebuilding strategies in 2013 and beyond.
Norwegian Refugee Council Somalia-Kenya Country Program
In 2010 I was hired by the Norwegian Refugee Council to lead the documentation of their program activities in Somalia and Kenya. For this task, I hired a team of media pros that included several photojournalists, one graphic designer, and e Final Cut Pro editor.
A multi-media set of products was produced to highlight the agency’s work in Somalia, one of the most dangerous areas for humanitarian workers to operate in.
As the lead Project Manager I was responsible for selecting and supervising the team of professionals, was the main liaison with the contracting
agency, and the lead writer for the publications. I also did the photography in one project location (Dadaab refugee camps), wrote the script and narrated three out of four audio-digital stories.
CARE Rwanda Celebrates 25 Years
In 2009 and 2010, I was contracted as Project Manager for CARE Rwanda to mark their 25 years anniversary in the country (1984 to 2009).
In this role, I was tasked with designing and implementing a communication strategy to mark this important date. In this process, I selected
and managed a team of media professionals to help me document CARE’s work in a variety of mediums, including video, photography, and graphic design materials.
In addition to being the main liaison with CARE Rwanda staff and supervising the work of the media professionals, I was also responsible for all the writing and research of the commemoration publication, the press materials on the day of the launch, and the development and standardization of all the
Led a Fair Trade Delegation to Kenya and Rwanda
In 2009 I had the opportunity to organize a trip for a small delegation of socially conscious European entrepreneurs to visit small business enterprises in both Kenya and Rwanda. The entrepreneurs own a fair trade store in Spain and are well connected to the fair trade movement
After much research, I selected four places in Kenya and three in Rwanda that already produced for the global market or had the potential to do so. In Kenya, I took the European delegation to visit Amani Ya Juu (refugee women making beautiful home décor materials with textiles from all over Africa), Lulu
Trust Works (Shea butter-based products made by South Sudanese women), Uniqueco (an environmentally friendly project that makes ‘unique’ products out of recycled flip flops), and the Pendeza Weaving Project of Kisumu (a mom and pops enterprise that makes cotton-based clothes and kitchen props).
In Rwanda, I organized a visit to The Urban Village (urban fashion and home décor from Rwanda that benefits Rwandan women), Gahaya Links (high quality weaving products that already sells to Macy’s retail store in the US and benefits widows), and Bourbon Coffee (high quality Rwandan coffee that benefits
small-scale farmers in different parts of Rwanda).
with Kenyan Women Leaders
In 2006 I worked closely with author and writer
Carmen de Tord as the portrait photographer for
a book project on Kenyan Women Leaders.
This experience enabled me to focus entirely on
photography and to meet some of the most remarkable
women leaders in modern Kenya. These women leaders
represent different sectors of society from business
and information technology to education, finance,
healthcare and politics.
I got an insider’s perspective into a rapidly growing
African economy. From a photography point of view,
I shot with a Canon digital camera, did the final
portraits in black and white and often used a tripod.
Some women were easier to shoot than others and
the process turned out to be a new and fascinating
experience each time we ventured on a fresh interview.
15 years after
the Genocide Is Healing Possible?
By far one of the most rewarding and exciting projects
I have ever done. The project, which I started in
2008 and is ongoing, introduced me to the work of
extraordinary Rwandans who are committed to spearheading
reconciliation and healing in their country.
As a writer, I wanted to reframe the genocide narrative
from one of death to one hope. Rwanda’s challenging
journey towards peace and reconciliation sparked
my interest on how people overcome adversity and
learn to forgive one another despite the pain they
have endured and inflicted upon each other.
In this project I worked with American photojournalist
Sarah Bones from Philadelphia.
for the following films
As a writer, there is nothing more humbling than
working closely to broadcast people on the hunt
for a good story.
My experience in these circumstances taught me that
logistics is key to the making of a successful film
Luckily, I have had the pleasure to work with a
number of extraordinary directors who are extremely
knowledgeable about Africa and care deeply about
the issues they cover.
I don’t think I would have survived otherwise…
Production Assistant and Project Manager
for the Following Films:
Women Seeking Justice
Impunity in Kenya’s Post Election Violence
Produced by Canvas Africa Productions in 2009
This 5 minute news clip captures glimpses of the
post election violence that rocked Kenya at the
end of 2007 and into early 2008. CARE’s work
with women victims of sexual gender based
violence is highlighted together with the issue
of impunity and the need to seek justice. The
video was produced on the occasion of the one
year anniversary of the peace deal achieved as a
result of the disputed elections. It was
distributed to different media houses and it
generated significant media coverage, including
a mention on CNN.com, The Huffington Post and
widely viewed on You Tube.
Empowering Women in
East and Central Africa
Produced by Canvas Africa Productions in 2007
This 25-minute film focuses on the impact of
women’s empowerment programs implemented by CARE
in the East and Central Africa region. The
objective of the film was to document in a
compelling narrative and through the voices of
those affected, the impact of programs that aim
to empower women. Filming took place over the
course of two months in Burundi, Tanzania and
Ethiopia. The film was also accompanied by a
publication that reflected on the overall
programmatic theme. This video was used as a
learning tool among development practitioners
14 Million Dreams
Babelfish Productions 2002, Miles Roston
Filmed on location in Kenya and Malawi over a
period of 4 months, "14 Million Dreams" is a
1-hour film that captures the stories of 5
children who have lost their parents to AIDS.
The stories, told from the children's points of
view, show their struggles, triumphs and their
hopes and dreams of becoming doctors, nurses,
hired car drivers and jet pilots. These children
are not alone in facing the future without
parents as a result of AIDS. Every 14 seconds a
child loses one or both parents to AIDS. UNAIDS,
UNICEF, and USAID have estimated that as of
2001, 11 million children under the age of 15
were orphaned by AIDS, in Africa alone. As
HIV/AIDS destabilizes families and entire
societies, it is leaving children with out the
care and support necessary to grow up, survive
and thrive. Yet, children possess unlimited
potential, as we will see in the film.
I started shooting weddings since I have lived in
Kenya. This too gave me a unique opportunity to
step inside the culture and to forge new friendships.
A wedding is something extraordinarily special and
I have deeply enjoyed every wedding I have shot
and learned a great deal in the process about people,
lighting (too much or too little), image composition,
the importance of details and framing. I look forward
to more of these opportunities.