Video featuring Honduran pop singer wins global award

 

May 11, 2015

A short video that profiles a popular Honduran singer’s collaboration on a project that provides an oasis of hope for youth in one of the world’s most murderous cities has taken first place in a prestigious, global contest.

Produced by Creative Associates International of Washington, D.C., the English-language video that profiles singer-songwriter Eduardo Umanzor won in its category of “Best Interview Video” in the competitive contest by PR Daily and Ragan Communications.

The video may be seen here.

“Each day we work with inspirational people like Eduardo who are collaborating to improve the dangerous conditions in their communities and ensure a future they desire,” says Creative’s President Leland Kruvant. “For us, the award is another recognition of the outstanding work by thousands of people in Honduras and the United States to bring peace to these neighborhoods.”

The video competed against five other finalists to win, an honor Kruvant notes is important since Creative is a global development organization—not a media production house.

In a post about the winning video, PR Daily wrote: “We were particularly impressed that this inspiring video was produced for only $5,000,” and praised the piece “for so effectively merging music, documentary footage, and an interview with Umanzor.”

Kruvant also recognized the efforts of the in-house team and consultants who made the successful video: Michael J. Zamba, producer; Jillian Slutzker, script writer; David Snyder, photographer and videographer; Sara Barger, video editor; and Emanuel Rodriguez, field producer.

An oasis for youth

Umanzor’s hometown of San Pedro Sula has the dubious reputation of being the most dangerous city outside a war zone. The homicide rate is about 7 times higher than what health experts consider to be an epidemic.

His song “A Little Love” has been adopted for use by Alianza Joven Honduras, a projected funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Honduran government and the private sector. Creative launched and continues to manage Alianza Joven Honduras.

“A Little Love” was written with Umanzor’s own resources, and later Alianza Joven Honduras signed an agreement for him to write and produce another song called “Si Podemos Sampedranos” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PimITYxjB9k).

HON1005142441-300x200
Eduardo Umanzor performs with youth at a community talent show at the Sandoval Sorto Outreach Center in San Pedro Sula on Oct. 5, 2014.

The Alianza Joven Honduras program has almost 50 outreach centers that serve as safe spaces in some of the country’s most dangerous neighborhoods. The outreach centers provide support, productive activities, job skills, academic tutoring and mentorship for youth.

Creative’s President, who recently returned from a visit to San Pedro Sula and Tegucigalpa, applauded the collaboration among the communities, the private sector and USAID.

“I was inspired after seeing how the outreach centers have had a positive effect in these at-risk neighborhoods and how the youth are using them as a platform to improve their lives and future,” he says. “Although there is much more work ahead for these communities, these efforts provide both hope and opportunity for youth.”

In the video, Umanzor says he started writing songs in order to deal with the aspects of life in Honduras that could not be ignored—the bloodshed, injustice and inequality. Though the violence is horrible, he says it feeds his desire to share the message that people can change things and live in peace.

Umanzor told interviewers he knows his fans are listening. “They come to me and they say…‘These songs help me feel positive about this country. These songs help me feel positive about the future.’”

Umanzor’s profile is part of a package of videos, articles and photos about Creative’s efforts to engage communities so they may bring stability and opportunity to five Honduran cities.

Please visit here.

Videos on Nigeria & Afghanistan honored

In the same contest by Ragan Communications and PR Daily, two additional videos produced by Creative were selected as finalists and ultimately received honorable mentions in the competition—a feat in and of itself considering the hundreds of entries from around the globe.

One video highlighted a Creative program that integrated basic literacy and math education into Qur’anic schools in northern Nigeria.

To learn more, please visit here.

Another focused on the work of Kamila Sidiqi, an Afghan woman who started a small dressmaking businesses under Taliban rule and grew to build a company that provides workforce skills training to other women.

Sidiqi participated in Creative’s Afghanistan Workforce Development Program, which is increasing job placements and wages by improving access to quality technical and business training through a market-driven job training model. Sidiqi is now the Chief of Staff for Afghanistan’s President.

A multimedia package on that effort can be accessed here.

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