The UN SDG Action Campaign participated in the World Humanitarian Summit on 22-24 of May in Istanbul, co-hosting the Virtual Reality hub, along with Samsung Mobile Turkey, RYOT Films, UN Women, OCHA and the WHS Secretariat.
The World Humanitarian Summit – the first summit of its kind held by the United Nations – brought together participants from the global community which included hundreds of delegates and leaders of Governments, crisis-affected communities, private sector leaders, multilateral organizations, international and national NGOs, youth representatives, civil society, diaspora, civil-military, and academic leaders.
The UN is producing films using Virtual Reality (VR) technology, and through this new and powerful approach, they are changing the way how organizations raise awareness and funds. These films highlight some of the most pressing global challenges that the humanity faces, including the Syrian refugee crisis and climate change issues.
At the Summit’s Virtual Reality hub, visitors were able to watch 9 immersive films produced by the United Nations and RYOT films, using Samsung Gear VR and Galaxy smartphones, which were provided by Samsung Electronics.
Films shown at the World Humanitarian Summit:
1. Exclusive premier of the new Virtual Reality film of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Mission for Humanity “Home”: As the fish cannot live out of the sea, Syrian people cannot live without Syria” says Zaad, a 16-year-old refugee in Jordan. With more than 60 million people displaced or refugees, the world faces the greatest humanitarian crisis since WW2. From Jordan to Lebanon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan, Home takes us on a humanitarian journey with the UN Secretary-General. Directors: Charlotte Cans (UNOCHA) & David Ohana (UNICEF)
2.“My Mother’s Wing”: In Gaza, foundations are built, destroyed, and built again. This virtual reality experience follows the struggle and strength of a mother coping with the death of her two children in the 2014 war. By UN SDG Action Campaign, in partnership with With.in
3. “Clouds Over Sidra” follows a twelve year old in the Za’atari camp in Jordan – home to 84,000 Syrian refugees. It follows her to school, to her makeshift tent and even to the football pitch. The Zaatari Refugee Camp is home to 130,000 Syrians fleeing violence and war. Children make up half the camp’s population. This is the story of Sidra, a 12-year old girl who has spent the last 18 months in Zaatari. By UN SDG Action Campaign, in partnership with With.in
4. “Waves of Grace”: Liberia has endured the largest Ebola outbreak in history. As communities rebuild, one woman seeks healing through faith. This is the story of Decontee Davis, an Ebola survivor who uses her immunity to care for orphaned children in her village. By UN SDG Action Campaign, in partnership with With.in and Vice Media
5. “For My Son” is the moving letter from a father to his baby son recalling his journey fleeing the war of Syria. Follow this courageous father, husband and educated lawyer who for the sake of his family left the Za’atari refugee camp to look for a better life in Amman. By RYOT
6. “The Crossing” follows the journey of refugees crossing the Mediterranean sea to find a better life for themselves and their family. Experience their hopes, their challenges and their emotions when arriving “on the other side”. By RYOT
7. “Growing Up Girl” is the story of a 10-year old girl from a rural village at the border between Kenya and Tanzania. Follow her through her daily life of collecting water and fire-wood, walking miles to go to school and the reason she does her homework under a light post. By RYOT
8. “Ready for 100″ is a virtual journey through the Antarctic glaciers and the effects of climate change on them, and on the animals and communities that depend on them. By RYOT
9. “Beyond the Lake”, Finess is a refugee once again, now in the Lusenda Refugee Camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Women in her new community have suffered through sexual violence, discrimination and the loss of loved ones. Through the power of UN Women’s safe spaces she finds courage and confidence to start again. By UN Women
During the World Humanitarian Summit, on May 22nd, the UN SDG Action Campaign also showcased the UN virtual reality films Clouds Over Sidra and My Mother’s Wing at a reception for public, private and NGO partners: “How we can do more: Promoting partnerships to solve the refugee crisis” hosted by the Tent Foundation, Western Union, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and Deloitte. The reception featured remarks from Ruma Bose, President of the Tent Foundation, Christina Hamilton, Vice President and Chief of Staff at Western Union, Chip Cottrell, Partner at Deloitte US, and David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee.