INTRODUCTION: From the squatter settlements of Bangkok to the shantytowns of Johannesburg and Lima, the urban poor are lacking in the basic facilities of health care and recreation.
SV & GV Children playing soccer in Lima slum. (2 SHOTS)
GV & SV Street scenes. (4 SHOTS)
CU Woman blowing whistle for volunteers to assemble
GV PAN Volunteers assemble.
SV & GV Discussion of new project by volunteers. (3 SHOTS)
GV & SV Building of day care and health centre. (8 SHOTS)
GV Slums and street.
CU PULL BACK GV Women watering trees. (5 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: From the squatter settlements of Bangkok to the shantytowns of Johannesburg and Lima, the urban poor are lacking in the basic facilities of health care and recreation. The United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, is supporting a number of projects to encourage self-help in these depressed communities. One such project is the slums of Lima, capital of Peru.
SYNOPSIS: For these children the soccer match ends early. In the slums all members of the family-must wok as soon as they are able. Whole families are rushing to the outskirts of Lima: the men to find work in the city. And the rest of the family must cope with the harsh, arid environment.
The people here are building their own towns. The whistle is blown and the volunteers assemble. They are going to discuss how to improve the settlement; what new projects can be started in their 'pueblo joven', or young town. At the meeting each member has his say. They decide to build a day care and health centre, having decided that the welfare of their children is the most pressing need.
UNICEF supplies volunteer workers to guide the people in their projects, and the organisation says that the practice of self-help is spreading as urban decay has worsened in the world's major cities.
UNICEF believes that such self-help can be an effective means of development. A well-organised and involved community that mobilises itself for change in performing a valuable activity. UNICEF says that the value the results of the work more when they have contributed to it. Where there is little assistance from the central government such projects take on even more importance. They are particularly good at bringing non-formal education to the people. The community workers can learn bricklaying and carpentry: practical skills they will need in the developing society. An increasing amount of aid from foreign governments is ending up in these sort of mutual help projects. And foreign governments are keener to give to them than to hand over money to Third World governments for unspecified purposes. Even so the streets are without pavements, lighting and drains.
Undeterred, the women have decided on another project. Several times a week they gather to water the newly-planted trees. This is a considerable effort because the water must be carried from communal taps. But UNICEF has put the projects into perspective. It has said a few alone cannot create the batter life. It will require more help from their own governments to surmount the obstacles that lie between them and a brighter future.