• Sonali Fernando

The road to Khayelitsha, South Africa

Updated: Jul 31, 2020

A life-changing project in one of the largest townships in Africa.

One of the great privileges of making campaign films is to hear the true stories of remarkable people and to translate them through the medium of film. In 2016 I was asked by international humanitarian and development agency, Svenska kyrkans internationella arbete, part of the Church of Sweden, to make a series of advocacy and fundraising campaign. One of the trips I made was to Khayelitsha township near Cape Town in South Africa. A team of incredible women there, called 'Mentor Mothers', are doing lifesaving, largely unsung, work to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health, against a backdrop of high HIV infection and poverty.

The resulting short film, Let More Children Reach 5, was part of Svenska kyrkan's Christmas fundraising drive. Versions of the film were shown in cinemas all over Sweden before the main feature, where they were watched by 1m people (a tenth of the Swedish population) and received a 90% approval rating from viewers. The Let More Children Reach 5 campaign raised half a million pounds more than the previous year's campaign for Svenska kyrkan's work.

#humanitarian #development #Khayelitsha #MentorMothers #ChurchofSweden #svenskakyrkans

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