Haiti's Children Go Behind The Lens As ITV News And Save The Children Give Them The Opportunity To Film Their Future
Some of the children worst affected by the Haiti earthquake are changing the way disasters are reported through an innovative film partnership between Save the Children and ITV News.
Months after most of the world's media have left Haiti following the earthquake in January, Save the Children and ITV News are working with six children in Leogane - the epicentre of the earthquake, just south of Port au Prince - to help them make films that will follow their lives after the disaster.
Up to 90% of Leogane was destroyed by the quake. Most of the town still live in tarpaulin tents that flood when it rains and overheat in the sun. Many children suffer nightmares and are still trying to cope with the loss of best friends and family, the fear of continuing aftershocks and the distress of things they saw - dead bodies in the streets, people trapped in rubble, their homes collapsing.
The films are planned, filmed, produced and directed entirely by the children - Jean (11), Derchine (13), Olwine (13), Manoushka (15), Sophia (16) and Nenel (17) - some of whom have not been able to speak about their experiences before. Following training from Save The Children film experts and ITV News cameraman Dave Harman, who is BAFTA-nominated for his coverage of the Haitian earthquake, the children will continue to make 'video diaries' in the coming months, recording both high and low moments in the year after the quake. The children will shoot their footage on easy to use Flip camcorders.
The first two instalments of the series 'Filming Their Future' will be broadcast on ITV News on 28th and 29th May, with further reports from the children broadcast later in the year for ITV News programmes and online at www.ITV.com/news.
This project marks the first time Save the Children has incorporated film-making into its emergency response to help children recover from the trauma, isolation and grief of such a disaster.
Sarah Jacobs, head of news at Save the Children, said: "When the earthquake hit thousands of reporters descended on the island and conducted countless interviews. Yet the world has never been able to see the situation for children in Haiti as children want - and need - it to be seen."
"The film-making has become an important part of the healing process for the children involved. Children in Haiti often don't feel able to talk properly about the pain they are suffering, as nearly everybody here has lost somebody. Working as a film crew with other children who really understand what they've been through has given them the space to speak honestly and openly, often for the first time."
Emma Murphy, ITV News correspondent who worked with the children, said:
"When Dave Harman and I were in Haiti for ITV News in the days after the quake we were anxious to show just what it had done to people's lives. However when you are covering such a huge disaster the individual stories can be lost. This project lets you see what life is like in Haiti now. What makes it so special is the resilience and enthusiasm of the children. They are desperate to tell their stories their way so that no one can forget about Haiti."
The film project forms part of Save the Children's child protection work in Haiti. The aid agency is running 'child friendly spaces' across the country, where trained staff organise activities for children that help them to cope in the aftermath of an emergency. Activities include sport, dance, music, and now film, to encourage children to play and interact, while promoting a sense of normality.