In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, shockwaves spread around the globe. We could sense the impending weight of the devastation as the first fragments of information emerged from the darkness and chaos. Within hours, Ushahidi was deployed and volunteers began scouring twitter feeds and other sources and posting these reports on the map of Port-au-Prince. I decided to do my part by helping to spread the word about Ushahidi-Haiti.
As the days and weeks passed, the Ushahidi-Haiti deployment garnered lots of media attention, and we started to consider the possibility of documenting our impact in Haiti on video. In particular, we saw an opportunity to capture the remarkable story about the launch of the 4636 mobile short code. When I learned that several Mission 4636 team members were traveling to Haiti as part of a US State Department delegation, I reached out to documentary filmmaker Andrew Berends about shooting some video for us. I knew he had been working in Haiti and luckily he was available!
Andrew teamed up with Jaroslav Valůch who is Ushahidi’s field representative in Haiti and in two days of shooting they captured interviews and b-roll in Port-au-Prince and traveled to the town of Mirebalais to visit the micro-work center where local Haitians are paid to complete tasks as part of Mission 4636. With multi-media journalist Jon Shuler working as editor, we have crafted two videos from the footage. Along with our prior video that focused on the work of the Ushahidi developers and the crisis-mapping team at the Fletcher school, these videos form a trilogy about Ushahidi-Haiti.
The story of the Mission 4636 partnership (below) is the second piece in the trilogy, and it highlights the incredible collaboration among many different partners that made Mission 4636 a success. The final video is still in the works and will describe how Ushahidi-Haiti and Mission 4636 are being transitioned to Haitians both locally and in the diaspora.