film production + social action

Survivor: Joel

By Tim Gauss

In November 2010 – the Humanitarian Appeal established a coalition of organizations that worked together in launching a proposal for $7.4 billion that would be used as part of an international relief plan over 2011.

With World Refugee Day approaching (June 20th), I wanted to focus on the lives of refugees directly affected by the relief effort—stories that would otherwise go unheard. Take for example, Joel Wiza, a father unwilling to accept his fate as another nameless statistic. Joel is a Zimbabwean refugee living with other displaced families on a farm with his wife and three children.  These survivors have lost everything—their homes, property and former livelihoods. The conditions of their living quarters only perpetuate disease and famine as each family is cramped into single rooms with poor waste disposal and little privacy. In fact, Joel compares himself to “an animal in the bush.”

The only mercy this father has ever known is when he receives $2 for a day’s work— enough money to allow him to feed his children and buy something nice for his wife.

Zimbabwe, like so many other countries, is suffering.I implore you to take just 5 minutes and listen to Joel’s story:

Tim Gauss spends part of his days wondering how to combine his two loves, sunflower seeds and funky socks. The rest of the time he works on social outreach, designs media, and blogs about activism for Righteous Pictures. You can follow him on Twitter @Shinister_