You must take five minutes this weekend to watch this inspiring short film created by 16 year-old David Were about his realities living in the largest slum in Kenya.  I have been working on the Adobe Youth Voices program since its inception four years ago, and I am continuously inspired.

This and ten other youth produced films are being celebrated this week at Lincoln Center in New York City as part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival.  Over a hundred additional films are uploaded at the Adobe Youth Voices Gallery.  In the past week the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, WABC TV and other news outlets have shared these films with millions.

Every few weeks I hope to highlight a few Adobe Youth Voices films in a causenation blog.  Adobe Youth Voices is the company’s global signature philanthropic program empowering youth to create media for social change.

Another powerful film premiering tomorrow night in New York was created by Kamran, a teenage refugee from Afghanistan.  Through “Kamran’s Story”, he hopes to locate and reunite with his mother who stayed behind after smuggling him out of a Taliban controlled region shortly after his father was murdered.  Watch his interview on WPIX TV.

Here’s how my friend and colleague Jennifer Nedbalsky of Human Rights Watch describes her team’s experience meeting Kamran, David, and others as they arrived at JFK airport in the United States for the first time:

“Kamran and the two boys from Kenya got off the plane in suits today. Kind of funny for teens – but it really speaks to the transformation that is about to happen. Until yesterday, Kamran only owned one pair of torn jeans and never imagined that anyone would be interested to hear his story. The Kenyan boys literally share one bathroom with hundreds of their neighbors in Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa. All three boys needed someone to buy them a suitcase and clothes to wear to New York.  Now, Adobe is giving them this opportunity to speak out, to get the attention of policy makers and people across the United States who might be able to help. The next few days could change their lives in some small way. Kamran may be one step closer to reuniting with his mother. The Kenyans will be able to draw attention to the poverty and human rights violations they face on a daily basis. They will tell their stories, and they will inspire others to make a difference. They have already inspired me.”

By design, you can’t watch Kamran’s film on-line yet.  You must attend one of the upcoming Human Rights Watch International Film Festival’s Youth Producing Change Events in New York, San Francisco or London.

I feel really lucky – the work that I am priviledged do at Cause Consulting helps others.  I hope you’ll get excited too.  Click to learn more about the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival or Adobe Youth Voices, or view films at the Adobe Youth Voices Gallery.

See you at the movies!

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