Solutions for Refugees
UNHCR Solutions asked me to create a range of multimedia projects to promote internal learning within the organization. Certain UNHCR offices were implementing new and dynamic pilot projects, but the lessons learned and new ways of working that were being developed were lost in a huge organization with 126 different offices.
The films, photo projects, and written stories were about alternative methods to refugee camps that could be used to take care of displaced people. One of the main messages in this body of work was that refugees were independent, willing to work, and did not need to rely on UNHCR for all of their needs. Throughout the course of a year, I visited eight different countries ranging from Benin to Colombia, and did around 120 interviews with refugees, UNHCR, and NGO staff. The films were placed on UNHCR internal learning web platform and also shown to donors, and screened at high profile fundraising events.
When 17,000 traditional Tuareg pastoralists from Mali fled to Niger, the UNHCR Representative decided to try an experiment so that the pastoralists could continue to live their traditional life. It was impossible for them to live in a camp with their hundreds of animals, so instead the Representative negotiated with the government to allow the pastoralists to roam around a huge zone in northern Niger, and provided the refugees' assistance through food distributions and non-food items.
Alongside films and photo galleries, I wrote and researched a long 20-page report that analyzed the steps of how the huge zone worked in practice and what assistance the refugees needed from agencies.