Water documentary for SK-II and World Vision

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It isn’t pretty.

The air was almost always pungent.

But I was glad to have made the trip to Jakarta, and see with my own eyes what is happening to the state of these people’s lives.

About a month ago, Japanese skincare brand SK-II approached me to be a part of their Clear For Life Project. The trip is sponsored by them

They were pledging water purification sachets to communities in need around Asia, and  are working with World Vision Indonesia to distribute these sachets, hoping to improve the lives of, particularly women, if they were relieved of the daily tasks of fetching clean water. The project was to be launched in together with the SK-II Christmas tree light-up outside the Tangs shopping centre in Orchard Road, and in a shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur.

Places where these photos were taken haven’t received proper implementation programs yet.

We can see why doing charity is difficult, and need to be in the hands of good people who can manage and implement projects in communities which are sparse, lack proper infrastructure, where locals are seeped in traditional beliefs and rituals, lack education, and speak a local language that makes it hard for volunteers to penetrate.

From the recent Cambodia experience through a project done with some friends, I’d began to understand the tip of these problems, and salute any good charity who can identify good projects to help the people in the long term, and can operate well despite rampant bureaucracy and corruption.

In Jakarta, staff from World Vision took me around. Throughout the shoot, four men followed me – the overall in-charge, the section in-charge, a cameraman, and the respective village leaders.

World Vision’s goal is to identify promising communities – that is, motivated people who want to help themselves, and already have some resources to do so.

When I arrived at the village, a few days after Jakarta experienced massive flooding, I was shocked to see how full and clogged the drains were. Yet, the streets outside people’s homes were spectacularly clean.

The problem with water, was not just about fetching clean water.

It was about sanitation and drainage, affecting the cityscape as a whole.

I am appalled innocent villagers have to live with industrial waste, dumped right at their doorstep, and yet have no say over any of their problems.

The root lies in good governmence, and I only wish taxpayer’s money can reach people at the end of the hierachy, who need it the most.

More photos have been uploaded on my main website, http://www.mindytan.com/#/Jakarta%20Water%20Crisis/Jakarta%20Water%20Crisis/1/thumbs

and also on the facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=245966&id=103762129544

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