Videos from Everyone Sought for FriendsBeyondBorders Darfur Project

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FriendsBeyondBorders, in association with the Crystal Awards FilmFest, wants short internet videos from people everywhere, which will be shared with refugees from the Darfur crisis living in temporary camps in Chad, as well as over two-way webcams in New Guinea, Bhutan, Brazil, and an Inuit village in northern Canada.

In an effort to create real human connections between Darfur refugees and the rest of the world, FriendsBeyondBorders is creating a video exchange as well as a two-way webcam hookup with a refugee camp and the rest of the world.

They want videos which express who you are, what values you live for, what you find beautiful, funny, profound, meaningful, or uplifting.

These will be shown, via laptops carried by roving aid workers, to some of the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled the fighting and genocide in Darfur, Sudan, where 200,000 have already died. They will also be seen by children at the U.N.'s field school at the Iruturbi refugee camp in Chad. Two-way webcam connections are also being planned between the camps and universities and coffee houses in Europe, North America, and Asia (Future webcam stations are planned for a Stone Age village in New Guinea, a marketplace in Bhutan, an Inuit village in the Yukon, a Yanomamo Indian encampment in Brazil, Davis Research Station in Antarctica, and a Uigur village in Mongolia).

The goal is to create human connections between refugees and real people in the rest of the world. The refugees' immediate physical needs are met by UNHCR, OxFam, CARE, WorldVision, and others, but this project is meant to bolster their spirits emotionally, and create a human connection between them and complete strangers from all over the world.

A documentary film is planned about the project, and submitted videos may be included in it. Videos of refugees themselves will also be made, and uploaded to the website. There is no fee to submit a video.

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John Toomey
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