In May we invited you to join an innovative video advocacy contest to raise awareness about how mobile phones, digital cameras and other technologies (including the computer that you're reading this post on) is helping to fuel the ongoing crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), scene of the deadliest conflict since World War II.
The ENOUGH Project partnered with YouTube's Video for Change, a program that connects nonprofits with YouTube visitors to spark meaningful change, for the "Come Clean 4 Congo" contest. Now, the judges (actor Ryan Gosling, director Wim Wenders, and "Lost" actress Sonia Walger) have chosen three final videos from the pool of activist filmmakers that submitted videos for the contest. Here is a playlist of the three finalists:
CAST YOUR VOTE: Please visit the contest's website and cast your vote and learn how you can take action.
TAKE ACTION: In addition to casting your vote, you can take action by endorsing the Conflict Minerals Pledge via the ENOUGH Project's website or via your phone by texting CONGOPLEDGE to ACTION (228466). Also, you can call on companies to pledge to use conflict-free minerals.
LEARN MORE: In addition to the resources from the ENOUGH Project's Come Clean 4 Congo site, i encourage you to check-out ‘Faced with a gun, what can you do?', a 110-page report from Global Witness (no connection) that details how companies are buying from suppliers who trade in minerals from the warring parties.
Video contest description and background: Use your cell phone to call on electronics companies to Come Clean 4 Congo by designing a video (one minute or less) that raises awareness about the link between cell phones and the violence in Congo. The winner will be flown to LA for a celebrity-studded event and have their video featured on the ENOUGH Project's website and YouTube's contest page.
To support the project, WITNESS partnered with the ENOUGH Project and provided footage from its partnership with AJEDI-Ka, a DRC-based NGO that identifies, demobilizes and reintegrates child soldiers, as well as advocating for justice in the Eastern DRC. The widespread recruitment and use of child soldiers in the DRC is without parallel in Africa. Tens of thousands of child soldiers have been recruited as combatants by all parties to the conflict, which has been described as Africa's World War. In 2003, AJEDI-Ka partnered with WITNESS to harness the power of video, and completed two videos to help amplify its advocacy work: On the Frontlines and A Duty to Protect. Please visit the links to learn more about the issue, watch the videos and learn how they were used to create change.