Grads work to expand impact of Haiti documentary

first_imgNotre Dame graduate Justin Brandon can trace the inspiration for his work on a 2006 documentary about a rural Haitian town to a summer spent doing service through the Center for Social Concerns.Now, Brandon and two friends have taken their project back to Notre Dame through the use of Innovation Park, a technology park launched by the University that opened this fall.Brandon, along with 2005 graduates Brian McElroy and Daniel Schnorr, filmed, directed and produced the documentary, “The Road to Fondwa.” It chronicles the Haitian people’s quest for development of the small rural town of Fondwa, Haiti.“The film is not your standard guilt trip, tear jerking movie that tries to make audience feel sorry. Fondwa has a hopeful story,” he said.Brandon said he, McElroy and Schnorr wanted to expand the impact of the documentary — especially in light of the Jan. 12 earthquake — so they formed a business that now operates out of Innovation Park. “Once earthquake hit, everything changed,” Brandon said. “We needed to have a strategy to scale up the efforts of the film distribution and that’s where Innovation Park came in.”As a student, Brandon, a graduate of the class of 2004, spent a summer in Ghana participating in an International Summer Service Learning Project (ISSLP). Through this project, he met McElroy and Schnorr. Schnorr had spent the summer in Ecuador and McElroy, Fondwa, Haiti.“We all met through our ISSLPs, and we came up with the idea to shoot a documentary in Haiti,” Brandon said. “We raised a little money, went down and didn’t know what we were doing. None of us took any film classes at Notre Dame.”But the Notre Dame graduates succeeded in making the film, and they now travel, holding screenings of the documentary to showcase the development and culture of Fondwa.The documentary focuses on the development of Fondwa, a rural town of about 8,000. The people work to spur growth by building a road through the town then expanding the University of Fondwa, which was established in 2004.“[The university] was an important first step for development of the town,” Brandon said. “There are about 20 kids in each class, and they’ve graduated one class so far. In the end of the film, we talk about the university as the crown jewel of community.”But Brandon said the recent earthquake devastated the town, and pushed him, McElroy and Schnorr to extend the reach of the documentary and raise money for relief.“All the buildings in Fondwa were destroyed, including people’s houses. The university was flattened,” Brandon said. “But people are working to raise money to rebuild it bigger and better.”After the earthquake, Brandon said they decided to release the film for free viewing on YouTube to draw attention to the town and the university.“The whole world was able to see the negativity, the really dismal images being shown on TV. We wanted to show a more hopeful message online,” he said.Brandon said the business they run out of Innovation Park is not for profit.“We are covering our own costs, gas costs and making the DVDs, but after that, we are using any money that comes in to keep the business going, promoting the film and the Web site,” he said. “Anything that’s left over, we are donating directly to Fondwa.”Brandon said he and the other filmmakers are looking for groups and students who want to do screenings of the documentary in order to raise awareness and funds for the relief effort.“We have raised a few thousand,” he said. “It isn’t all that much, but in the broader scene, we released the film for free and told anyone that if they want a screening of film, they can do that for free except that they had to buy the DVD.”Brandon said Innovation Park is an ideal workspace for promoting the documentary.“It’s important for me to have a place to come and work around other people that think similar way that I’m thinking,” he said. “It’s an office space but it’s more than that.”Brandon said he uses the Greenhouse facility in the park, and has networking and mentoring opportunities from people also using the Greenhouse that have experience launching a business.His company was an attractive option for Innovation Park as well, Brandon said.“Our business is different from the other projects they take on. A lot are along lines of physical sciences,” he said. “Ours is quite different and it’s a good perspective to bring into the park because it’s a finished product that already has a revenue stream.”Many of the other businesses launching out of Innovation Park are still in the early stages of establishment, Brandon said.“Innovation Park wishes to help Road to Fondwa, LLC, find ways to market this powerful documentary as a tool to help raise additional funds for critical earthquake relief operations,” David Brenner, president and CEO of Innovation Park said of the business in a press release.Visit http://fondwa.org for more informationBrandon said he hopes the business will help with the Haitian relief effort, but also draw attention to the positive side of Haiti.“It’s much more of an uplifting story, but not contrived,” he said. “People there have a hopeful spirit and have accomplished a tremendous amount in past few decades.”last_img read more

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Colombia Captures ELN Chief Responsible for Kidnapping Canadian and Peruvian Citizens

first_img Through a statement released on their website on May 8, the ELN claimed that Santos’ government “is not making any efforts for the multinational Braewal Mining Corporation to return the four mining titles they took away from the communities in the area of Serranía de San Lucas.” “If the ELN eventually decides to take part (in the peace process) and for us to decide if they can be part of it, they must liberate the kidnapped hostages, especially the Canadian citizen,” Santos said on May 9. “An ELN criminal, aka Mario Solano, has been captured. He is second in command in the ‘Darío Ramírez’ front. He was responsible for the kidnapping of the Peruvian and Canadian citizens in south Bolívar (department),” Santos said. The president did not give any details about how and where the guerrilla was captured. The head of state made this statement to the press in the city of Medellín (400 km northeast of Bogotá), after a security meeting with local authorities. Although the Canadian national is still with the ELN, the guerrillas urged the government to “start an unconditional dialogue between the contending parties to mitigate the impact of war” on July 5, in a message signed by its top leader Nicolás Rodríguez Bautista. The two Peruvian and three Colombian citizens were released on January 18, one month after having been kidnapped in a rural area of Norosí municipality in Bolívar, during a raid perpetrated against multinational Braewal Mining Corporation’s camp. center_img “He directed the operation, but is now in custody,” he added. Colombian authorities captured a chief of the communist insurgency ELN, who was allegedly responsible for the kidnapping of a Canadian natural, two Peruvian and three Colombian citizens in January, President Juan Manuel Santos reported on July 8. Of the five original hostages, 47-year-old Canadian engineer Jernoc Wobert is the only one to remain in captivity under the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s second largest guerrilla group, with 2,500 members. President Santos, whose government is holding peace negotiations with the communist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Cuba, has demanded the ELN release Wobert to allow a possible peace talk. By Dialogo July 10, 2013last_img read more

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Alness Turf Club to stage horse race meet on May 14

first_imgTHE Alnees Turf Club, which has been inactive for a number of months will once again get involved in the staging of horse race meets at its facilities, Corentyne, Berbice, beginning May 14.According to a release, the club will be staging a seven-race meet after almost one year and the event is expected to attract Guyana’s best stables and horses for the seven-race meet, which gets underway at 13:00hrs.Over $3M in prize money will be up for grabs and the feature race will be the Alness Open Classic. There will also be a race for G and Lower animals, one for H and Lower, another for `I’ and Lower and one each for `J’, `K’ and `L’ and Lower horses.The top jockey, trainer and top stable will be rewarded.According the Marcell Crawford Jr, organiser of the event, the facility is currently being rehabilitated and during the year, many more events are planned for the facility.last_img
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Angels’ deal for Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling reportedly falls through

first_imgIn the big picture, the Dodgers still need to reduce some salary if they are to stay under the luxury tax threshold after taking on the salaries of Betts and Price. Pederson is set to make $7.75 million after losing his arbitration case, and Stripling will make $2.1 million. That’s nearly $10 million for players the Dodgers no longer need.They have no apparent place for Pederson to play with an outfield of Betts, Cody Bellinger and A.J. Pollock. Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez, who can both play the infield as well, also crowd their outfield. Stripling had become more of a swingman than a starter in the Dodgers’ stacked rotation.While that all pointed to the deal still making sense for the Dodgers, there was one theory floated that Angels owner Arte Moreno was frustrated by the delay and pulled out of the deal.Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error After the stunning reversal, the Angels were back to where things stood a week ago, with Brian Goodwin as their right fielder until highly regarded prospect Jo Adell is ready.Their rotation depth chart still includes Dylan Bundy, Griffin Canning, Andrew Heaney, Shohei Ohtani and Julio Teheran, with a secondary group including Jaime Barría, Dillon Peters, Felix Peña, Patrick Sandoval and José Suarez. Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter center_img The Angels had been set to trade infielder Luís Rengifo, who now has no apparent spot with the addition of Anthony Rendon to the infield. They were also reportedly going to acquire outfield prospect Andy Pages from the Dodgers. At least one other prospect was expected to go to the Dodgers in the reported agreement. Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone After the Angels waited for days on the drama surrounding the Dodgers’ pursuit of Mookie Betts, the deal they believed they had struck might not be happening at all.The Angels had reportedly agreed to get slugging outfielder Joc Pederson and starter Ross Stripling from the Dodgers after both players were rendered surplus once the Dodgers got Betts and David Price from the Boston Red Sox.However, amid reports of the Dodgers getting Betts and Price in a reconfigured deal on Sunday, there were multiple reports that the Dodgers were no longer trading Pederson and Stripling to the Angels.As of Sunday night, it was unclear whether the deal was dead entirely, or just in need of changes in light of the altered Betts deal.last_img read more

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