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Hot For Profit

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Director and Producer: Joan Planas Imagine ending hunger and poverty. Imagine that everyone knows how to read and write. Imagine equality between men and women. Imagine children playing. Imagine their mothers in perfect health. Imagine living without illnesses. Imagine a healthy environment and real housing for everyone. Imagine the whole world helping out to reach these objectives. If we can imagine it, together we can make it happen. UN Millenieum Development Goals In the year 2000, Kofi Annan General Secretary of the United Nations brought together 189 UN countries to sign the Millennium Declaration committed to carrying out the 8 Millennium Development Goals Reduce poverty in half Elementary education for everyone Promote equality between the sexes Reduce child mortality Improve maternal health Stop AIDS and other illnesses Drinking water for the whole world A world partnership for development All this by the year 2015 for this they ask for money, money and more money Six years have gone by and poverty is still rempant and it is actually worsened So the eight richest countries in the world got together to see where they went wrong and come up with a solution But I don't believe them, so I decide to do this documentary. "Hot for profit" I decided to go to Nicaragua, a country with one of the highest concentrations of NGOs and poor people in Latin America. 35,000 men, women and children die due to illnesses that can be prevented. Every 24 hours, 25,000 people die of hunger 1,000 million live on less than 1 dollar per day Wars and violence kill 900,000 people per year Why? Is there a solution? Here we are in Nicaragua. Mery, my partner on the trip, contacted an NGO that invited us to visit the town of San Nicolás and to stay with one of the locals Waiting for us at the airport is Alex, our guide into town. We shared the bus with a number of nicaraguan locals They are very welcoming and easy going but their driving can be chaotic and stressful The nicaraguans talked about politics, They were disappointed with their leaders.But how could we help? We're not politicians. What kind of welcome are we going to get? - Hello, I'm Juan de la Cruz Salas. - I have come to lodge here - Ah yes, come in, come in. - Hello, good morning. - Here is my wife, a son of mine and another son is over there. Here is where you are going to bathe. - This house is nothing like the ones in my country. This family lived with less than I could live on. the worst was that they lived without water to drink. - There's no water to drink, The mayor never wanted to put it in. - And why? - Because he didn't, lack of intelligence on his part. - Right - Some people from... Catalonia (Spain) came and they were going to start the project, they were going to give money to... well, they were going to help us, but the mayor didn't approve the water project. - But if he didn't have to put any money in either... How come? - The problem is because he was... It's that projects like water, like roads, like pavement, and all that is part of the mayor's office, and he wanted to finance it himself, to charge for the water, That's why he didn't approve it. - For... - Yes, to pocket it himself... That's way he didn't approve it... And just like I'm telling you, everyone in town can tell you just the same. - The mayor never tried to put water for us here in San Nicolás. Help came, in fact, from another country, from Spain, but the mayor didn't want to give the signature, and that's why we lost the project and the town is without water. - Let's see if this problem with the water can be solved, since the mayor has not given his approval... - He didn't give his approval to any of the water projects. - We tried, with the Spanish collaboration, to implement the potable water system in San Nicolás. We went to to... the Mayor's office with the Spaniards, to talk to them, We talked, and they said they would agree to put in the water, but, to give them the money so they, could install the water. - Then a Spaniard told him: "Well, we can do it but we need to see your accounting books, how your financial statements look" And the mayor said "No". Because he wanted them to give him the money. – without this was unfair so we decided to join them and go see the mayor so that he can explain to us in person why But the reality was that he didn't want to receive us. It seems politicians ignore the masses They talked about how his house was different from the others. They talked about how he took advantage of his position as mayor to make a profit. When we got to his house we realized what made it different from the rest of the town. Do you see the difference? She certainly does As nobody came out to meet us, we left soon after And very close by, we discovered the crude reality. Children have to go and fetch drinking water from a small stream. Goal Nº7 Drinking water for the whole world? We finally found the mayor. Mr Mayor! Excuse me, we wanted to ask you some questions about the water. but, Mr Mayor! Come back, don't go, please! It will only be a moment. Mr Mayor! Mr Mayor?! well, not all the politicians are like? Politicians? The cause of poverty is related to the economic system that is being carried out by politics in Nicaragua, it's destructive. It's an industry that's making a group of corrupt politicians richer who are destroying the country. -The main role of the government is to promote development, it's to give society tools to promote development and improve the standard of living. Unfortunately, government policies... development policies, in municipalities like this, are not seen. - But let's imagine, the great ceremony recently held for Bush, just with the cost of the ceremony, how many hospitals we would have produced? - The role of NGOs has been an assisting role, that is to say, assisting in the sense that it is here to cover the gap that the government is not fulfilling and has the obligation to fulfill. - The following day we decided to visit a girl we had sponsored from Spain. We were bringing toys, though they told us it was not advisable to give her presents because, it might be the neighbors upset. The NGO is called "Help in Action" and it's very famous in Spain. Their team was well-organized and came to pick us up in a 4x4. They invited us out to eat at a restaurant and took us to visit the town of Boaco. All this because we pay them eighteen euros a month. Finally we got to meet our little girl. - Hello, Are you Cristina del Carmen? - There she is. - Hello gorgeous... - We met the grandmother, the brother, the sister and the dog. We showed them photographs of our families. We gave them the toys and pens, one for each so that they could learn to write. And we taught them to play Parchis. Smile! here, here! Look over here. Bravo! NGO? The majority of NGOs work for the enrichment of a narrow group of people the help doesn't reach the poor. - At the level of the institutionalized cooperation, there's a situation of corruption. - In big cars, in big trips, in big dinners, that's where huge riches are diluted and it doesn't go down to the poor. - They're small projects and in the end the resources wind up in the pockets of the coordinating officials. - And the people who are outside and want to help, who want to help our children, they must think that they're helping us and I want them to know that is not so. People out there think they are helping the children but they're not. This people are not happy with the NGOs the "Help in Action" seemed legitimate Maybe we were missing something The truth is in Latin America, Nicaragua is the second highest number of NGOs More than five hundred, and yet every year it gets poorer. Also, 35% of the populationof Nicaragua is illiterate, that's why most of the hand outs from rich countries go into constructing new schools. We wanted to see them but the teachers were on strike. They were on strike because their salaries were too low, so low they are not enough to feed even one child. Money from aid can help to build schools, but without teachers they're as good as useless Even so there was another option. A NGOset upby a Nicaraguan: Orlando Pineda who believes education will eradicate poverty. His proposal is to turn citizens into teachers so that they can teach their neighbors in their free time The problem is you have to convince the neighbors to go to class. For that you need a foreigner from a rich country next to the teacher. If not, the future students decide not to attend their classes at all - Good afternoon! - Good Afternoon - How are you Yasmina? - Well - We come to tell you that if you want to learn to read, there is a project right now for literacy, We come to see if you want to learn and sign up for this project Here she hesitates ashamed to go to school, and that's when the foreigner plays his part It's very important to learn to read and write. For example, if you go to the doctor and you are given a prescription, you wouldn't know how to read it. Learning to read and write, some opportunities are open. - Yes... But exactly what are these opportunities? If I teach how to read to Juan, María, Nacho, Pedro, that man will take care of the rivers, he will take care of nature. Then we won't have the heat we have right now. If I help María to read, she will be able to read health, she will be able to read production, she will be able to read the world. Then the lands won't be so mistreated. Then, there will be harmony in the rivers, in the plants, in the green, in the air, in the freshness, with the animals, with the people and with nature itself. - And here they are, the three students. nicknamed "the knowledge entrepreneurs." - You have to be patient and learn little by little... - But just outside there was a boy who didn't want to study. What's your name? - Marcos, isn't it? - Marcos - The "e", we have the "i", we have the "o" and we have the "u", vowels are composed of five letters. Come you behind there! Don't be shy. Come so that you can start with them at the same point. When you learn to read, they will make you a big party. - For few hours each day this house is turned into a school, where a woman, with no training what so ever will teach her neighbors how to read, with the help of her daughter. and niece Is this how the millennium goals are going to be achieved? Is this how we must learn to read? Education? - Our populations are blind by not knowing what thing is "o" what's "i", what is... Billions of women and men, and especially girls 14, 15 years old don't know how to write the word "love" they don't know how to write the word "peace" and we talk in the world about peace. And we talk of democracy, but a billion don't know how to write the word "democracy" Then, what kind of respect for human rights are we talking about in the world? And what kind of respect towards the earth? With the big forums of Río Janeiro, where they meet and discuss, and discuss, in favor of loving the earth, but they don't teach human beings to read so that we respect nature and we have to force it a lot of times due to, hunger It militates against peace in the world. "Zero poberty no excuses, who owes whom?" – Where did you see that style of dressing? - On TV These kids dress exactly like North-Americans do, They say they learned from TV It looks like television teaches more than the schools here, so I decided to see what else is being taught on television. - From Managua, capital of the Republic of Nicaragua, in the very center of America, Channel Two I found two kinds of TV news casts, this one: -Good afternoon, this is Telenews at Midday. Thanks for being with us. -A system of news called TV news, which is well-presented and well-prepared, from the periodistic point of view. - And this one: " Warning: This show may contain images or language not suitable for minors" - And in two different parts of the capital, the police captured two individuals. One because he had just stolen a motorcycle, and the other one because he broke into a house to steal a bike tire. We'll see these stories and other news in a few minutes - On the images accompanying these news stories you can see, people stabbed... or someone who is dying. And they are exposed to the cameras, someone who was decapitated, or... or someone... someone who was shot - In our country they are giving priority to spectacles, instead of the solution of problems - In this moment there are already three channels whose primary news slots are filled with these kind of stories about violence, about sensationalism... And the truth is that this phenomenon is due to the polls of recent years, it's been seen that there's a lot of audience demand for this kind of news. - Channel Two's way of making news on this new channel " 22/22 " has opened a debate. The debate has had such an impact that in the Congress of Nicaragua, during the National Assembly, they are already discussing this subject. ¿TELEVISION? - The right to inform is a social responsibility. We conducted a poll in the university in November and 38 percent of the citizens we asked this question directly to among a series of questions: "Do you like violent and bloody images?" Thirty eight percent said "Yes" And the next question we would ask ourselves when analyzing the poll is: "How does it help the development of the nation to show violence and blood in the media?" That those 38 percent who like to see blood, who like to see rapes, who like to see, the families of other Nicaraguan citizens... in that state... Would they like to see their mothers, their fathers, their daughters or their sons? I believe not. But watching their neighbors brings out their ghoulish instincts. That's what we shouldn't invite to I think, because we wouldn't be helping with education - Societies get to be what they see on television. - Because we're not talking here about freedom of expression or freedom of the press We're talking here about the responsibilities the media have and the responsibility to be constructive And I'm saying this as something to think about for all of us, right? What should the media do... to create that balance, between the interests as a business, and the commitment we have as media? And the problem is, that none of us want to step back, None of us want to step back, because that means ratings, that means clients, that means business. - That is the duty of the media: to promote, to spread and defend the human rights. - I hope you were listening and you didn't answer your mobile phone like they did Well, turn it off and let's go. So, I went back home. Barcelona Once again hit in the face with constant change, large counts of people, stress, never stopping, no time to talk to anyone, work, work, work and more work, with no time to think in the controlled environment with a highly visible security force watching over you at all times, while you do everything over, over and over again at breaking speed, never knowing where you are going, trapped by time... Without really seeing what's going on around us In Spain 528.200 people live in poverty. In USA 37 million. - I was worried too about giving, giving, giving, because "poor thing eh!" But in life I learned that it's not about "poor thing" but about teaching him to read so he can get out of poverty by himself. - With my age... I'm 72 years old, I cannot have a job, to begin with I have no other choice to support my house and my family than staying here that's why it's almost an obligation I have if I don't do this... I have nothing else to do. There are people who could work and they don't want to I'm telling you there's a bit of everything There are those who need it and those who don't. I've been working almost my whole life I was a truck driver I used to work with a truck and payments came, the inspections... and I had to quit I put a small street stand but they took my things away because they didn't let me sell, and finally I set myself here, and here I am and I will be until I die or as long as I can take it... this is the truth yes, it is necessary for people to help of course it is - How are we to solve the problem of poverty in the third world if we can't do it in our country? Are our politicians like the ones Nicaragua? June 30, 2005, the new law on homosexual marriage is approved " If a gay or lesbian couple asks you to marry them, what would you tell them?" Mr Mayor: "Well, that's crystal clear for me. If a couple of lesbians or gays asked me to establish a marriage in my city hall, I would say no. I would like to be told why they have allowed these gay marriages. For me a gay person is someone who was born stupid." Luís Fernando Caldentey, Mr Mayor Goal Nº3: Promote gender equality Demonstrations against homosexual rights joined by eighteen bishops of the church. Monsignor Juan Antonio Martínez Camino: "The Catholic Church will go to the Demonstrators against to homosexual rights Monsignor Juan Antonio Martínez Camino. “The catholic church will go to the demonstration againts gay marriage, because we are immersed in a unique situation in the history of mankind. For the prelate, during the two thousand years the Catholic Church has existed nothing like this has ever seen." Juan Antonio Martínez, Bishop But, isn't it worse that kids have no drinking water in their homes? Cristina del carmen, her grandmother, her brother, her sister and her family who live on less than one dollar a day, or María del Carmen, Antonio César, and Jasmine Angeles who don't have teachers or a school to study in, or all the genocides that have occurred in the world? Members of the church, isn't all this far worse? Well it looks like it isn't because in the demonstration against poverty there was only one bishop. Compare what happened during last week's demonstration against the law allowing homosexual marriages which had the enthusiastic support and attendance of eighteen bishops, against only one bishop protesting against poverty – So next, I wanted to take a look at the education system in the country. Up to that moment, everything was going wrong. Were there also problems with education? A spiral of youth violence. A stabbing A fourteen-year old female student from Manlleu cut her teacher's finger off for being punished. Experienced teachers regret witnessing lass of respect in the student-teacher relationship. "This is not an isolated event, when I see the big picture here, I get demoralized. Our futures is in the classrooms, but those who know the classrooms from the inside wonder: What kind of future awaits us? "Things are getting worst" According to one teacher with 25 years of experience. TELEVISION? Maybe television was even getting worse? When I turned on the TV, I was speechless. - Making Conrad fall in love because I'm not that kind of woman. - You think that because women show we're going to fuck. your little head's like this. - And you, the fucking feminism. - "BIG BROTHER" - Obviously what's happening with the media is they give more importance to selling than to providing information. But worst of all is the way they manipulate images. Remember the girl from "Help in Action"? I didn't tell you the whole truth. - Let's see if she recognizes herself. Do you know who is this girl? - Let's see, who could she be? - Who is this girl? - We don't know her - Isn't it she? - No. - Isn't it she? - The picture didn't match the girl we went to see - Oh, yes? - This is the picture of the girl we went to see, and this is the picture we had of her. - They don't look alike. - Yes, she doesn't look like her, she's not. - Being 5 years old she can get into preschool. - They say they don't want her, the teacher says she's too young. – Here Cristina del Carmen is 5 years old - In that community there's no preschool. - Then is she going to skip that course to...? - To first grade. - Probably. - But can a course be skipped? - She's going to be really... delayed. - Yes of course, ideally everybody would be in their normal courses, right? but that really happens in communities. - Goal Nº2: Elementary education for everybody? - They're always in doubt. Will this reach the child? Will this help I'm sending reach the child? NGO? - A humanitarian aid worker since 1986, Jordi Raich writes in his book "The Humanitarian Mirage" the following: - "The supportive action, stripped of its beneficial halo, is one more company with its own interests and with an economic capability that can't be denied, subject to the law of supply and demand, facts that make them vulnerable to political manipulation and financial corruption." "There are leaders that see in NGOs a way to become rich, others see in them an opportunity to improve their popularity and to polish their resumes." "In the end, helping poor people becomes an investment for the rich people." "Unsociable, paranoid, ambitious or lazy beings, the abuse of power, theft, harassment and corruption is equally abundant in industry and in the university, the commercial and transport sector, the army, the administration, the church and the labor union. Why would it be any different in the charity sector?" "One young lady from Rwanda raised her hand: If I think about it with my head, I would say to you that your help is useless and you should stop it, Your alms only make us more dependent and do not solve our problems. If I think about it with the heart I would ask that you please don't abandon us, that without you we would die." I felt lost until one day I got an email. Can one person change the world? Gandhi: He brought people together in the name of freedom and non violence January the 30th the world celebrates the day of peace in his memory. Hitler: He brought people together in the name of violence starting World War II, killing 6 million human beings and bringing poverty in the most of europe. What was it that make the difference? Intelligence? No Race? No People's attitude makes the difference Research shows that people who create a positive and happy environment, follow the following attitudes: Morality as a basic principle, Order and cleanliness Empathy Honesty Solidarity Punctuality Love for work. Responsibility Respect for the law and order Respect for the rights of others and eagerness for saving and investing. In Nicaragua, Spain and the rest of the world only a small part of the population adopts these attitudes in their daily lives. Change your attitude and you'll change the world. - But wasn't it money that changed the world? Or at least that's what the richest countries want us to believe. The truth is Marcos can have a school but if he doesn't want to study, money won't teach him to do it, maybe if we adopt the attitude of listening, then mayors would be more tolerant maybe if television was less destructive and more informative kids would respect each other, and if we would learn to accept our mistakes and correct them we might even be able to understand Juan to help him, and thereby show Marcos that studying is good for him and for everybody and we will achieve and meet the 8 millenium objectives And if we're lucky the church will learn to accept condoms so in Africa there aren't twenty five million people dead from AIDS Or even better quit believing in the religions and believe in ourselves. And then we'll surely be free, to go on and discover, have fun and laugh at life, seeing what we didn't see before and learning to live with the earth, It might just be imagination, but just in case, I don't want to be the last one to change my attitude. - vienen ya, días de amar la casa que habitás, días de amar la tierra vegetal, flor y animal vienen ya, ríos con aguas sin envenenar, agua que beben los que tienen sed igual que usted, vienen ya, bosques pulmones de la gran ciudad, selvas que aroman en la oscuridad, noches de paz, que hacía falta, la humanidad... no es natural, que en el planeta, tanto ande mal, que el hombre agreda al hombre, que el hombre agreda al animal, al vegetal... Se oyen ya, loras gritando a gran velocidad, niños jugando con felicidad, vuelvo a su edad, pasan ya, cosas que alegran a la humanidad, aires que huelen como a navidad en igualdad... que hacia falta, la humanidad, no, no es natural, que en el planeta tanto ande mal

Video Details

Duration: 32 minutes and 1 second
Country: Spain
Language: English
Director: joan planas
Views: 98
Posted by: joan planas on Dec 16, 2008

It's a documentary about poverty in the so-called Third and First Worlds. It analyses both societies from the perspectives of the NGOs, the media, the education, the politicians and the religion, and it challenges the UN eight objectives for the new millennium. Hot For Profit will make you think about your attitude and the potential for change that a single individual may have. The documentary was filmed in Nicaragua and Barcelona (Spain).

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