Video Volunteers Journalist Documents 'That Beautiful Game'
NEW YORK and GOA, India, Dec. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The game of soccer is restoring childhoods and helping to build a sense of community and peace in one the most conflict-ridden and under-developed districts of India reports Video Volunteers Community Correspondent, Kamei Mercy.
"Education and healthcare are essential," says Ms. Mercy. "But there is something more about a game of football. Your playmates are your first idea of community. In getting the children to play sports, the Manipuri Alliance for Child Rights is doing a great job restoring their childhoods and fostering a sense of community among the future citizens of Manipur."
The Chandel district of Manipur state in North East India was named one of the 250 most backward districts in India in 2006. Poverty, unemployment and malnourishment are rife. There are no proper healthcare facilities or schools. Since the 1990s, a civil strife among two resident tribes – the Nagas and the Kukis – has caused much bloodshed. Children are the most vulnerable.
Sports for peace is an initiative of the Manipuri Alliance for Child Rights. It was conceived as an effort to restore lost childhoods and to help those afflicted heal from the traumas of war. Every evening, children of various tribes who have been displaced by the war come together to play what has been called 'that beautiful game'; football in India, soccer in the United States.
Like Ms. Mercy, who came of age when the conflict was at its bloodiest, most children come from families broken by the war. A witness to violence in her childhood, she has since been working towards building peace as an activist and journalist, producing a Video Volunteers video to document this community-building endeavor.
"The mainstream media only reports on the violence in this region," she says. "But for me, stories like the children coming together from different tribes and playing together are not only more personal, but more important. It is not like we are all up in arms and at each other's throats! Most of the people I know are working constructively towards restoring peace. As a Community Correspondent, it is my responsibility to give them and their good work a platform," she adds.
Kamei Mercy is part of IndiaUnheard, a news feature service launched by international community media organization Video Volunteers. The IndiaUnheard feature aims to give a platform to the stories and concerns of marginalized communities across India. It has a special focus on conflict zones where young committed activists like Mercy are bringing to light stories of hopes and lives that have so far gone unheard.
To watch Ms. Mercy's other videos, visit her profile at the IndiaUnheard website at http://indiaunheard.videovolunteers.org/author/mercy/.
IndiaUnheard is the first ever community news service launched by Video Volunteers. This new initiative is constituted of a network of community correspondents who are trained to tell unique stories; stories about their own communities; stories which are otherwise left untold. By feeding this community-produced content to national and international outlets, such as mainstream television channels and social networking sites, IndiaUnheard links rural communities with a truly global audience. Through bridging these worlds, IndiaUnheard empowers communities to create real change on real issues affecting their lives.
About Video Volunteers
Video Volunteers identifies, trains and empowers grassroots media producers who create change in and for voiceless communities in the developing world. The organization's work has been recognized by the Knight News Challenge, Echoing Green, TED, Waldzell, the King of Belgium, UNESCO, YouTube, and others who have helped Video Volunteers elevate the voices of these rural communities. For further information on Video Volunteers please visit www.videovolunteers.org or follow us @twitter/video volunteers or fan us on Facebook/Video Volunteers.
If you wish to speak with Jessica Mayberry, founder, Video Volunteers or Chair of the Board Davia Temin, please contact Suzanne Oaks of Temin and Company at 212-588-8788 or [email protected].
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SOURCE Video Volunteers