Archive for the ‘development’ Category

Great film on cyclone victims Bangladesh

November 18, 2012

From the 300 films in the 25th International Documentary Film festival i Amsterdam I have selected to watch six films in the first days of the festival.  For the first tim since retiring I could select films during daytime, and I thoroughly enjoyed that. It was also nice that for most of them I saw the premiere that came with a Question and Answer session with directors and sometimes lead actors. Most impressive for me? Are you listening, a film on a family struggling to survive after their village was washed away by a cyclone in coast Bangladesh.

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My new website

May 11, 2012
I retired from IRC in early 2012 at 65, after 40 years of working in journalism, advocacy and communication. In the next few years I want to share my experience in the WASH sector from the last 30 years with the younger generation.
IRC has contracted me to still do 25 days work per year for them. In all I want to do work 50 days per year for which I have created H2O Communications and a website for it.
I hope I can do also some practical work for partners in the developing world. Skill training on storytelling in all formats with a purpose that can be linked with distant mentoring from my home.

Sanitation project I sponsor now fully funded

September 17, 2011

The sanitation project that I sponsor in Bangladesh is now fully funded.

It is from The Max Foundation that seeks to prevent child mortality with small-scale water projects in Bangladesh. Micro-sanitation, the combination of providing wells, latrines, and hygiene education is the most effective and efficient way to fight simple but lethal diseases like diarrhea and give children a future. The Max Foundation provides micro-sanitation in Bangladesh together with the local community.

Through a really simple reporting system I’ll be getting occasional news on progress in pictures and short films.

If you are interested to follow my example check out http://www.akvo.org and pick a project. Akvo is Esperanto for water.

Invest in African artists

December 21, 2010

As early adaptor I have already quite a few CDs from new artists that received $50,000 from ‘believers’ in them on the Sell a band site . Good stuff. It brought me also two nice concerts in Amsterdam. One in Toomlers and one in Paradiso. I am still a member there.

A break away group is Africa Unsigned that focuses on selected African musicians to record music funded by fans. Through “crowd funding” artists raise $10.000 for the recording, distribution and promotion of an EP.

I have decided to put another $500 in artists on this site. Just now $30 in Victor Kunonga from Zimababwe

Kunonga’s lyrics reflect the voices of the voiceless in contemporary Zimbabwe, emerging from crisis and social inequity. His songs and their popularity derive from a profound sense of dignity and social awareness; songs that address and confront issues of poverty, dispossession, and the rights and needs of ordinary people.

I also put $30 in Neema.

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Treadle pumps and flying toilets in Dutch press for UN meeting on poverty

September 20, 2010

This weekend two mainstream Dutch newspapers carried features leading into this week’s high-level Round-Table discussing the mixed achievements of the Millennium Development Goals. It will be held from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Wednesday, 22 September 2010, at the UN headquarters in New York, United States. This session will be Webcast live via: http://www.un.org/webcast.

Dick Wittenberg in the NRC Weekblad of 18 September reported on his going back to Dickson village in Malawi where his first feature five years ago had started a readers fundraising action to help this poor village. “Use of treadle pumps increased the income in this village”, he writes.

Kees Broere in de Volkskrant of 18 September reports on improvements in water and sanitation from the Kibera slum in Kenya. “The number of flying toilets in Kibera is going down”, he writes. (more…)

Plight of Rohingya refugees in southern Bangladesh since 1978 continues

March 15, 2010

I was shocked last month when I heard aid workers and campaigners warn that the violent crackdown on undocumented Rohingya refugees. Rohingya humanitarian crisis looms, reported the IRIN humanitarian news site and Al Jazeera headlined: Rohingya ‘crackdown’ in Bangladesh.


This was one of the first pictures I made in n April May 1978 for the appeal of UNICEF to the world with pictures and and story from the “temporary” camps. (more…)

Communication work in Lesotho

November 21, 2009

In my work I am regularly asked to facilitate communication training or media workshops. This time the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW) asked me to help them with a communication planning workshop on 10 October in Maseru, Lesotho. After three days of workshops and a general assembly I had to use lots of energisers and group work to keep the attention and active involvement of the 10 ANEW communication people. But it worked.

Here one group is analysing communication products from others.

Lesotho is a kingdom within South Africa. It is mountainous.


Southern African network for sustainable sanitation launched

November 15, 2009

The Ecological Sanitation Research group (EcoSanRes) at Stockholm Environment Institute has launched its first Knowledge Node on Sustainable Sanitation for southern Africa during the second Africa Water Week in Johannesburg.  I am there for my work. It is one of the ten planned regional nodes, the next one will be launched next week in Uganda.

“Our aim is to train groups in sustainable sanitation and develop local capacity to respond to demand for information and training in the region, says Madeleine Fogde, EcoSanRes Capacity Development Manager.” Other knowledge nodes will be established in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. (more…)

Indonesia, here I come!

August 30, 2009

From my travel as a groupie with my favourite Boi Akih band to Indonesia I’ll be using my blog to occasionally post messages, pictures and short film clips from my flip video camera. I am not sure if I have internet access in Ambon, where the band will do three concerts.

Here is a test with two pictures from my travel for work to Indonesia in 2007.

Canal in Yogjakarta

Canal in Yogjakarta

Yogjakarta harbour

Yogjakarta harbour

Overwhelming performance of Lost and Found Orchestra in Amsterdam

March 8, 2009

It had a four out of five stars review in De Volkskrant on 4 March 2009 after the first performance of the Lost and Found Orchestra at the Carre theatre in Amsterdam, where they played until tonight. The review was so interesting that it triggered me to go this wonderful circus shaped theatre on the river Amstel together with my daughter Mirjam. We experienced an overwhelming experience. With a core group of 35 musicians and with a full choir, LFO creates a symphonic piece of music theatre, using Afro and Caribbean rhythms for their one-tone, unconventional instruments made from traffic cones, hose-pipes, saws, plumbing tubes, bottlebellows, glass instruments and anything else they can lay their hands on. They have a Hosaphone (garden hose with a brass mouthpiece and a funnel mouth) and Plumpet section, see a short video  they have online.

Creators of LFO Steve McNicholas and Luke Cresswell also made large format movies. Wild Ocean 3D was the title of the last one. They are currently producing a new movie about endangered tropical coral reefs and have other 3D movies in development.


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