We’re back in Tamale for the night, with a strong internet connection again! Our field work with World Vision Ghana is complete, and the next two days will be spent traveling back to Accra and meetings with the National Director for World Vision Ghana, as well as other administrators and NGOs to debrief and discuss what modifications worked – or didn’t work – with the water pumps and latrines for persons with disabilities. The past 4 days were a whirlwind of great experiences and hard work – both on the part of the filmmakers and the team from Messiah College Collaboratory working specifically on the construction aspects of the trip.
Over the weekend Rodney and I unexpectedly had an amazing opportunity to film inside of an Islamic mosque during afternoon prayers. It is often difficult to receive permission to film inside of these holy sites, much less during prayers, so we were thrilled to be able to capture those moments. As Islam and Christianity are the two main religions of Ghana, we also attended Christian worship services that expressed the devotion and importance the people place on their faith.
This week, we really got to experience how a community can change their attitudes towards persons with disabilities and work together to make a difference in their lives. On Monday, the community of Zooga needed convincing for them to rationalize the spending of their scarce resources to modifying their water pump structure to accommodate a woman in a wheelchair, but by the end of the day Tuesday, that same community applauded her when she was able to draw water and transport it back to her home for the first time without any assistance. It is clear that the work being done not only to assist persons with disabilities, but to change community perceptions and create an atmosphere of acceptance and equality is making a difference in Ghana, and in other parts of the world.
As we wrap Production and head towards Post-Production, we’re excited (and a bit overwhelmed) to begin reviewing all 1,125 individual shots we have thus far and start to write a script that captures the struggles, triumphs, and inspirational stories of persons with disabilities discovering their strength.
-Derick Esch, Director