Let Me Tell You a Story

By: Sam Mann

Let Me Tell You a Story.

You see, people are sent all over the world to situations that need it. Incredible work, sacrifices, and restoration is implemented in an array of locations on every continent. There are some places that have the attention it needs and unfortunately, some don’t. No matter how bad it is, resources just aren’t accessible. Too much need, too bad an environment, too hostile, too unreachable. What we do with what we learn from these places in need is what makes the difference going forward. How can people get the resources they need to survive if they can’t even reach the ones that have it? How do we change that? That’s the real question.  

We can write blogs, reports, and articles but this route isn’t as attractive as it once was. We can send missionaries and get them to write about it or try to explain it in words to bring awareness, but is that the most effective way to get this word out to reach the people it needs to? Will it even reach them? What’s the most powerful way to connect with the masses today?  

The reality is, we live in a visual world. Through social media, shopping, YouTube, our phones, it’s all so much more visual than it’s ever been. We can get lost in these things. We can get distracted, addicted, waste our time, or, we can see an opportunity. An opportunity to reach this world in a much more strategic way.

The truth is, our brains are far more engaged by storytelling than just a list of facts or statistics. It’s much easier for us to remember stories because our minds make little distinction between an experience we are reading about and one that is actually happening. While storytelling is very important today in order to reach an audience, there’s another element that can take it even deeper – visuals.

Visuals add a component to storytelling that text cannot: speed. According to research compiled by 3M, the corporation behind Post-It Notes, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Which means, you can paint a picture much more efficiently through visuals. Also, according to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people today, are visual learners. So, when it comes to reaching the people that need it, bringing awareness to desperate situations, or expressing the drastic measures that need to be addressed in areas around the world, why wouldn’t we use visual storytelling? This is not only a incredible opportunity, it’s a specific strategy that statistically gives us the best chance of getting the word out to this visually captivated world. 

The facts are, there’s a huge crisis in South Sudan that’s developed a crisis in Uganda as well and we aim to tell this story. A story of how people are fleeing desperately for their lives from the violence and civil war in South Sudan. A story that’s causing overpopulated refugee camps. A story of camps that currently don’t have the necessary resources to efficiently feed or give water to the mass that desperately needs it. It’s a huge problem, and it’s not being seen by the world.

“International relief agencies say that one-third of the South Sudanese population of 13 million people has now been displaced and that half the population is suffering from severe hunger and is in need of food aid.” – NY TIMES

South Sudan became the world’s newest nation in 2011, when it declared its independence after five decades of guerrilla warfare and the loss of two million lives. Civil war erupted four years ago, after President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy, Riek Machar. The move set off bloody confrontations between their supporters and rival ethnic groups. The bloodshed has escalated and intensified in the last year, with a sharp rise in ethnically targeted killings and sexual violence. 

In June, the United Nations food agency described conditions in South Sudan as catastrophic, and warned that the situation there was deteriorating, with more than six million people facing acute hunger.

“The number of hungry and displaced South Sudanese is overwhelming,” Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, said in a statement on Thursday as he began a visit to the country. The staggering scale of suffering was evidence of “a style of fighting that appears calibrated to maximize misery,” he added.

This story in Uganda, needs to be heard. But in order for people to hear, it has to be told. In order for it to reach the masses of today, it has to be shown. This needs to reach the people it needs to for the sake of others to survive. If they don’t get the resources they need, more are guaranteed to perish. We plan to shoot a documentary to tell the raw story of what’s happening right now in Uganda. The raw emotion. The raw reality.

We plan to push deep in some of the largest refugee camps in the world to seek out these stories. Seeking to hear the hearts, the emotion, the pain, the courage, the hope, and the fight that all these refugees are going through currently, so that we can help them by our gifts, our talents, and our hearts. Will you help us get the word out in order to help our brothers and sisters dying overseas? Well, this mission starts with your support. You are the first step. Let’s join hands, lift our eyes to the disasters that need help, and get done what needs to be done.

This story needs to be heard.

Are you listening?