Filming for Kiva, Indonesia Take THREE
 
After a few days, we were healing up - slowly but surely. Since we were in Indonesia for a limited amount of time, we could not afford to not be filming for too long. As such, with a gimp leg and a useless shoulder, we set out with Christina and Arda to our first day of real filming in the field.
 
The plan for filming in Cilacap was slightly different from what we were doing in the Philippines. Because Father Charlie (See Indonesia Take ONE for more info on him) had such a unique story of how he and this town came to be, we wanted to do a profile on him and YSBS as a whole. We also wanted to focus on the catalytic educational loans. A little background on what these are and why they are special: generally, most institutions avoid educational loans to students in this area because they are very high risk and are not expected to be paid back until the student gets a job after their schooling is complete. Kiva is a large supporter of these loans and so is YSBS. 
Good ol' pink umbrella. Filming the kids in action. Photo credit: Yungkit
Our first real day of filming was with Tedi, a student at one of YSBS' schools. When we first arrived at his school, the students were in the middle of their gym class, doing long jump. Just like in any other school, the students were cheering each other along as they all made attempts across the sand. 
Students practicing for long jump. Photo credit: Yungkit
Breaktime for students after gym class, which runs for 2 hours. Significantly more than what I had in highschool. Photo credit: Yungkit
I am sure I wasn't distracting at all....Photo credit: Yungkit

Break time at school. Photo credit: Yungkit
While filming Tedi in class, we noticed that all the students were of different religions - some Catholic, some Muslim. It was pleasant to see that there was no divide between them - they all laughed together and learned together, just as students should. They were all great sports for enduring a whole class with me running around filming.
Shoes aren't allowed in class to ensure the classroom is kept clean. Photo credit: Yungkit


After almost two months of shooting, I've come to love my GoPro. It has been a great tool and has provided us with the perspective of so many individuals. Obviously, this day was no different. GoPro studentcam and GoPro teacher cam!
What's a film day without the use of the GoPro? Photo credit: Yungkit

GoPro on the teacher too, she was a great sport! Photo credit: Yungkit

Students laughed, but so did the teacher:) Photo credit: Yungkit

Thanks to Tedi and his class for being a great class to film. Photo credit: Yungkit
After the school bell rang we drove with Tedi to his home in a nearby village. Now when I say "nearby", I in fact mean several kilometers away. Most of these kids walk or bike for almost an hour to get to school. Tedi's home consisted of himself, his parents and his cousin.
Directing the family with the help of Christina's translations. Photo credit: Yungkit

Simple but homey accommodations in a very tight knit village. Continuing with SE Asia luck, our interview was rained out and we had to wait for Mother Nature to do her thing. When the rain finally stopped, we were able to do Tedi's interview regarding his loan and his future. In the middle of the interview, very loud music started playing from a nearby house - apparently he knew we were interviewing Tedi and purposely blasted loud music to be a nuisance... I guess every neighborhood has its' bad neighbor. 
It was a long way through town to get to Tedi's home. Photo credit: Yungkit
Partway through the shoot, I needed to go to the bathroom - evidently there was only one communal toilet for the village, which consisted of two boxed off areas over a pond of water. I was very impressed that there was no smell, but basically, you had one box for #1's and one box for #2's which had holes where the contents of your toilet-going would fall into the water. My bathroom-going was on display for all to see!
Community toilet. Yungkit is a peeping tom. Photo credit: Yungkit
After we interviewed Tedi, we filmed him and his family for a bit before we spoke to his proud mother. We wanted to find a quieter place to talk her since the neighbor was still blasting his music. So, we went behind their home and up the hill. To our surprise there was the most beautiful rice paddy field we had ever seen. To the family, it was nothing special, but to us, it was a breathtaking view.
Me asking about what's up the hill....Photo credit: Yungkit

Turns out, up the hill that was behind their home was this beautiful rice paddy field. Photo credit: Yungkit
She told us a sweet story about the first talk Tedi had with his family about the loan. Tedi talked to his parents and said that he really wanted to continue his schooling - but his mother responded in tears saying that she was sorry and that she could not afford to send him to school. Tedi said that it was ok, because his teacher had told him he was eligible to apply for the student loan from YSBS. His family was so happy that Tedi has this opportunity and even happier when they received word that his loan had been approved.
Tedi's mom and Christina. Photo credit: Yungkit
Meeting Tedi, and the other students at the school provided a really different perspective to how we look at life. Schooling in North America is free up to the end of high school. How many students have we seen drop out because of lack of effort or drive? This is contrasted with these students in developing countries where they desperately want to go to school to provide a better life for their families - but so often their financial situations disallow them to do so. Tedi's determination to continue his education is very admirable and impressive. After meeting Tedi, I certainly hope that this blog post and the video I create will generate more awareness for these educational loans that Kiva facilities. Because these kids certainly deserve an education too.
Tedi and his family were great to film. Thanks! Photo credit: Yungkit

Can't have a blog post without my camera and I. Photo credit: Yungkit

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After many years working as a producer and director at a Manhattan creative agency, Michael decided to make a change and put his skill-set to use creating meaningful content for causes he believed in. While in Guatemala on a video shoot, he had a chance encounter with a Kiva Fellow that resulted in a successful experience producing videos for Kiva's Women-Owned Businesses initiative. He profiled indigenous women and their businesses around Lake Atitlan and produced a best practices video for the local field partner, Friendship Bridge. These experiences in Central America helped him grow as a filmmaker and instilled a newfound desire to apply his craft telling the stories of the people around the world who have used microfinancing to change their lives. Michael is elated to be continuing his work with Kiva in Southeast Asia this fall. He will be tackling a new Media Fellowship, searching for the borrowers that best exemplify the power of Kiva to give people the resources to lift themselves out of poverty. This Kiva Fellowship is Michael's calling and was the opportunity he was looking for to make a difference.