A New Documentary on the Niger Delta by Sandy Cioffi
[From the Sweet Crude Website]: In a small corner of the most populous country in Africa, billions of dollars of crude oil flow under the feet of a desperate people. Immense wealth and abject poverty stand in stark contrast. The environment is decimated. The issues are complex, the answers elusive.
Sweet Crude, a documentary now in post-production, tells the story of Nigeria’s Niger Delta. The region is seething and the global stakes are high. But in this moment, there’s an opportunity to find solutions. What if the world paid attention before it was too late?
Learn more at www.sweetcrudemovie.com
Ryan Hauck, a former GCJ delegate to the Niger Delta in 2005, has not only maintained the connection he made, but has also paved the way for his students to connect.
Ryan’s work has helped to establish a new connection between Quil Ceda (Marysville) elementary school and the primary school in Oporoza, Nigeria. A 3rd grade class at the elementary school wrote letters to 23 primary students in Oporoza after Ryan went into the class and showed slides, discussing life in Oporoza, and teaching the receptive students some Ijaw language and a popular Nigerian song.
Ryan then traveled for the fifth time back to Nigeria this past November, laden with the unbelievable amount of clothing, books, school supplies, toiletries, medical supplies, PE equipment, toys, etc., that were donated by the parents of the 3rd grade class. Once in Oporoza, he spent a great deal of time in the primary school, teaching a lesson and helping the students to respond individually to each of the letter written from the Quil Ceda 3rd graders. (The Quil Ceda 3rd graders have since responded, and their letters were taken back to Oporoza by Joel Bisina).
Meanwhile, the high school students at Marysville-Pilchuck High School are continuing to establish their “sister-school” relationship with students in the Secondary School in Oporoza. Currently they are in the process of raising funds to support the purchase of novels, poetry, and non-fiction books that are part of the Nigerian curriculum, but are not available to the students there. Now that there is a working internet system in Oporoza, students at MPHS are looking forward to more regular communication and building on the relationship they have been cultivating. There is a possibility of using a joint curriculum from the Giraffe Project, which is centered around service learning and empowers students to learn from authentic voices who have been a catalyst for change. This curriculum hopes to give students the background and skills to be actively engaged in the local and global communities to initiate positive change.