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Film captures volunteers’ life-changing work

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Life-changing experiences: Juanee Scott, 25, filmed life at an early childhood development centre in Salawe, Tanzania(Photograph supplied)

An endurance test across the rugged terrain of Tanzania has proved an inspiration for aspiring videographer Juanee Scott.

In the process, she documented the life-changing work of a centre for children in a village in one of the world’s poorest countries.

“I just want to make the film that changes the world, so there’s no pressure there,” Ms Scott, 25, told The Royal Gazette. Her several months in the East African republic, known for its sprawling tracts of protected land, came courtesy of the Raleigh Bermuda personal development programme.

Along with local training, Raleigh uses rigorous expeditions overseas to provide young Bermudians with life-changing experiences.

In Ms Scott’s case, however, that adventure abroad never came: she took part in the programme in 2014 but was unable to leave the Island for work reasons.

Ultimately, her skill with the camera was part of the reason for her to get taken on as a project manager for Raleigh in Tanzania last September.

Tina Nash, the executive director of Raleigh Bermuda, called it “a huge time commitment — we require them to take a full year of training before they go off”.

Ms Scott filmed life at an early childhood development centre in Salawe, built by Raleigh volunteers in tandem with the international charity Save The Children.

The centre provides rural youngsters with nourishing meals along with a crucial early education, aimed ultimately at helping communities to lift themselves out of poverty.

“The centre is something that the village can celebrate; it incorporates the entire community,” Ms Scott explained.

Raleigh volunteers help teach basic sanitation techniques and water purification to reduce the spread of disease, while the international citizen service provides an entrepreneurship programme. Her role included help and support for Raleigh members during their 19-day trek through the countryside of Tanzania, which ranges from lushly wooded mountains to arid plains.

Pushing herself through 20 kilometres a day also proved an endurance test for Ms Scott, who woke one morning barely able to walk from inflammation.

“It’s all about teamwork and commitment. You push past your boundaries and do things you’ve never done before. You find out what you’re made of, how much you have inside yourself.”

Meanwhile, spending a week living with a family in the remote village of Mbeya furnished Ms Scott with the invaluable experience of immersion in a completely different way of life.

Coming home in late December after three months in Africa, she set to planting her own garden, having first-hand experience of the importance of growing your own food. That “liberating” knowledge has led her to a new project: Ms Scott is keen to film a documentary on Bermudians finding ways to live off the Island’s resources, and covering the issue of sustainable development.

As well as studying at New York Film Academy, she holds a Bachelor of Arts honours degree in film and television production from the University of Westminster. She said: “It’s really important for us to get back to that as a community — right now we’re so incredibly wasteful for our size. We need to invest more in growing for ourselves.”

Anyone involved in any form of local sustainable development is asked to contact Ms Scott at juanee.scott@gmail.com.

• Do you know an Unsung Hero who deserves recognition? Call Lisa on 278-0137 or e-mail lsimpson@royalgazette.com

Juanee Scott in Tanzania with Raleigh International(Photograph supplied)
Giving back: Juanee Scott