13 April 2011

HopeWorldwide -

Today's video is brought to you by Hope Worldwide - and organization that rents it's local officespaces on the campus of the commuinity center we often hang out at in Zandspruit.

The video starts out kind of bleak. I think they used the "let's show you how horrible this place is so you'll appreciate the contrast of our goodness" approach. Which isn't all-together invalid - there are many injustices and areas of neglect that are difficult to express. But soon after the beginning, they begin to show images and clips of the strength, joy and promise we find in our community every day. The Zandspruit we experience. The Zandspruit we love. And it's easy to fall in love with such a place - captured in the sparkles of a thousand eyes, living life in this beautiful and complex community.


  1. We appreciate what NGO are doing in our community, but Zandspruit is made up of different section with different socio-economic status. What I am eluding to is, we are telling single story about Zandspruit. Are organization doing this to please their funder?

  2. interesting comment. Yes, I totally agree with you - and that is what I was alluding to when I said that this particular video painted a bleak picture in the beginning , perhaps wanting to show the contrast between the worst there is and the good thery are doing. This is one part of Zandspruit, but This certainly isn't everything Zandspruit is about. Just like Johannesburg isn't all about crime and America isn't all about movies stars (I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if I know Beyonce)

    I don't know why people/organizations do that. Yes, I think some of it might be to please their funders- people who will never visit on their own. Maybe the NGO feels they will be drawn to compassion, and action, if they see the worst of how it is in any given place and it pulls their heart. They aren't lying, just focusing on one piece of a much bigger picture. The media is a funny place these days - only wanting to focus on the sensational. I mean, not just NGOs and such, but the news stations in general. There is so much injustice to absorb out there in the global world (and in your own backyard) - any organization working within the confines of media has to "compete" to get the attention of their viewers - even if it's for a good cause.

    That's why relationships are so important.

    Billy and I have struggled a lot with this. We also, can't live here unless people on the other side of the world catch a vision for who we are and where we are and join us. People who have never been able to visit on their own actually care about us and about this place enough to share from their resources so we can live here....and for them to share our vision and believe it is valuable for us to live here, we need to tell stories and paint pictures so they understand the value. It didn't take us long to choose to not go the sensational route with those stories, but to only share our actual experiences here in South Africa (or rather, in our lives, wherever we are). The sensational route actually devalues and erases real people from the story. We sometimes tell the statistics or lay a background view so people can get a visual about what we are describing - but our expeirences here have been filled with such strength and promise and amazing people - and that is what we focus our stories and our lives around. And also, we lay everything out in the open for anyone to come in and look at. In fact, our readership in dicoccoville has been slowly shifting so there are now as many (and sometimes more) from SA coming to spend time here as there are people from the USA.

    Sorry if I might have offended you - I didn't have a video for today and went on youtube to find if someone else had made one about Zandspruit that i felt we could show. i don't usually video (or photograph)in the commuinty if it's just for my own needs... that's just tacky.. so I thought I'd use the one HopeWorldwide put out since we are familiar with them.

    Thanks for approaching in such a conversational way.


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