Documentary exposes slum severity

By March 3, 2009

Philippines (MNN) — A shocking one billion people live in slums worldwide, creating a one in six ratio of slum dwellers.

The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) is currently working on a documentary exposing these facts and raising awareness about slums in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The film will also be used to celebrate the work CRWRC and other ministries have done to address poverty and provide hope for those in desperate situations.

Recently, a group of students from Dordt College went to the Philippines to help film a portion of the documentary. The team was able try their hands in cinematography, photography and editing, while revealing the uncomfortable truth about the living conditions for people in poverty.

The students recorded footage of people living in poverty, hunger and injustice. The information was personalized when they began recording the daily trials of one Filipino family who lives beneath a bridge.

To get to the family, students had to drag their equipment through garbage dumps and along highways, experiencing firsthand the lifestyle of many who live in the area. One student noted that the nearby river “serves as the community’s laundry, bath tub, cooking water, trash, toilet, and food source.” These dreadful living conditions will be broadcast to anyone who watches the documentary when it is complete.

The trip was led by former communications director for Christian Reformed World Missions, Mark Volkers. “With our documentary we hope to shine a light on a huge global issue,” he says. Volkers says that although the documentary will also look to academic and economic experts, its main focus is “the real experts of the story: those who live in the slums.”


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