Documentary & Photography
Tiger Kloof School, Vryberg
Building On Solid Ground tells the story of the founding, the closure and the resurrection of Tiger Kloof School in the Northwest Province of South Africa. Tiger Kloof builds on its rich history and a powerful future as it educates and prepares children and youth to serve their communities and their nation to meet the ongoing challenges and opportunities of a reborn South Africa.
I was invited to the school in August 2012 for two weeks. Upon arriving I got to know key staff and student leaders before filming. After finalizing the script with the Head of School, I conducted interviews on camera, recorded narration and shot supporting footage with hands-on support from two student interns from the U.S. and Britain. I then edited the video back in the U.S.. The 16 minute film has provided a huge boost to the promotional efforts of the school and helped to raise a significant amount of funding ranging from financial assistance for individual students as well as the grant money needed to restore one of the original campus buildings seen in ruins in the film. Because Tiger Kloof is located in such a remote area, the video brings the school to life for supporters who may not have a chance to visit themselves.
Unsung Heroes, Johannesburg
It was a privilege to return to South Africa in 2008 after my initial visit 18 years earlier. So much change had occurred following the first democratic elections in 1994 and yet the needs arising from educational inequity, unemployment and the HIV & AIDS pandemic far outweigh the resources available. Unsung Heroes, a program of ProVision International, recognizes and nurtures the critical work being done at the grassroots level by those whose care and commitment has until now gone unnoticed. The mentoring provided to these change agents enables them to further invest in their communities impacting countless lives. This work epitomizes true sustainable development.
I was invited to accompany a fact-finding mission team from Washington, DC to document their journey. The resulting images have also been useful to Unsung Heroes to promote their work through fundraising and friendraising efforts by illustrating both the "big picture" need as well as the intimate personal narratives.