April 3, 2020
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Meet the Soldier: Returns to Uganda – Mini-docu | Mensen met een Missie

We had to build up the studio three times. Once in open air… and two times inside We needed a lot of material. The power supply was a big problem. We had so much equipment that it was very complicated to have sufficient power so everything could work. Those kind of challenges… The amount of time we had to do everything was very limited. So it was a very very challenging task. Working with Ariko was great, it was really awesome Ariko and Lomoromoe both have very strong personalities. They are very expressive in everything they do and are not scared of new technology at all. At first, we were hesitant and did not know how they would react when they put on the virtual reality goggles and they suddenly see images of the areas they live. Actually, you teleport them from one place to the other and suddenly, you are in the community of – what used to be – your enemy. So we were wondering how that would play out. It went very well. We gave very little instructions, because they understood the dynamic immediately. We did not have to tell them what to do What you see in the documentary is quite real. We did not have to do anything in that sense. The story is told their own way. These are the nominees for the Golden Calf in the category ‘Interactive’ The original ‘Meet the Soldier’ of Teddy Cherim… plays with the idea that virtual reality can induce empathy… the public is part of […] We were able to reach people who are not our usual target group… they are not our donors or people who usually come to our events So the movie helped us to expand our reach. And we also won different prizes for this documentary. That was completely unexpected. In November 2018, we visited Karamoja to bring back the film Meet the Soldier. We think it is important to do this because every time we collect photo or video materials in the countries we work we always make sure the materials are brought back. This way they, the people can see the result of their collaboration and can see how they are presented to the Dutch public. The film Meet the Soldier is presented in several international film festivals and the film received a lot of attention. That’s why it was very nice to show the two main characters, Ariko and Lomoromoe, the result of their efforts. What I have seen in the movie is unity, togetherness…. It is like Ariko and I really got closer because of the film. In the movie, I saw how the raids were, which are bad things from the past. They saw the movie with the virtual reality goggles, which they really enjoyed.. it was very nice to see their reactions. We also showed the movie on a screen to the communities… Here, we made the deal that we would go back to our people in peace. And to end the conflict. The reason why we collaborated is that now everyone can see it, also outside of Africa. This generation maybe thinks weapons are cool, but they are not! It was very special to see that the older and younger people started talking… about the history of Karamoja. And that not a long time ago, clans were fighting each other, while now they live in peace. They said it is very important to make young people aware of this. Back in the days, many young people suffered from the consequences of the raids. Sometimes, 10 children from one family became victim. We have to do everything we can to maintain peace. We should not go back to the raids. That was everything I had to say. Thank you. If you ask me: what is going to happen now? I don’t have the answer. And that’s positive, because we are just at the start of the ‘Meet the Soldier’ adventure. We have to see how part two will be. Will there be a part two?
I don’t know. Maybe yes. We will see!

Tony wyaad