In a small village in Northern Ghana, a group of men and women sit around in a semi-circle, discussing the chart that they have drawn in the dust. The chart has three columns, showing the hours in the day and the different tasks men and women undertake during those hours. It soon becomes clear that women undertake the most labor intensive work -- fetching water and firewood, cleaning and preparing food -- and the discovery sparks a lively debate about why the men can not take on more 'women's' work. In this Muslim village, it is a radical move for men and women to sit down and debate together.
"Opens up new avenues to think about education in a non-Western context" Tanya Palit, Women and International Development
But the project aims to go beyond discussion of men's and women's separate workloads, reaching out to the nine hundred million illiterate adults across the world -- from Ghana to the Eastern Ghats of India -- who have been failed by conventional education. Known as 'Reflect', it is part of a radical approach to learning for adults that does not rely on importing textbooks from the outside world, but where, instead, everything is created by the participants themselves.
As well as changing ideas about whose job it is to carry all the water and fuel, charts and other home-made tools act as a stepping-stone towards reading, writing and number-work -- and introduce learners to the concept that the symbols they copy onto paper can represent not just words, but ideas -- and their plans for change.
The producer of this program has collected extensive resources at www.tve.org/lifeonline/index.cfm?aid=1162.
The other titles in the series are:
1. City Life - Explores Sao Paolo in introduction to series examining the effects of globalization on people and cities.
2. The Long March - Community in Chengdu, China has organized to clean-up polluted river.
3. The Health Protestors - Health care advocates demand universal health care for the world's population at international convention in Dhaka.
4. Together Against Violence - Poor Jamaican community overcomes violence.
5. Paradise Domain - Pacific islanders are not benefiting from digital windfall or World Wide Web.
6. Pavements of Gold - Increase in urban poverty and population, caused by globalization, threatens Peruvians.
7. Doing the Right Thing - Porto Alegre, Brazil has benefited from urban revitalization.
8. My Mother Built This House - Large homeless contingent in South Africa has organized to build houses for each other.
9. Barcelona Blueprint - Barcelona today is a model of urban planning that may prove sustainable.
10. Gaza Under Siege - The Gaza Strip has been a virtual prison for Palestinians for over fifty years.
11. Waiting to Go - Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are denied human rights.
12. A Fistful of Rice - Protein deficiency threatens generations of children in Nepal.
13. Patently Obvious - International patent regulations only protect multinationals.
14. The Other Side - Poor Mexicans attempt perilous border crossing to US, often at the expense of family, traditional culture, and their lives.
15. The Miller's Tale: Bread Is Life - Efforts are underway in Egypt and Yemen to fortify flour with iron to wipe out needless malnutrition.
16. Brazil: Winning Against AIDS - Brazil has developed generic antiretroviral drugs to care for those afflicted with HIV/AIDS.
17. Missing Out - Anemia threatens the population of Niger and Tanzania.
18. Stop the Traffick - Investigates horror of child sex industry in Cambodia.
19. My Hanoi - Tour of rapidly urbanizing Hanoi, and the effect on citizens and culture.
21. Paying the Price - Pharmaceutical companies block generic drugs, threatening the lives of millions of Africans with AIDS.
22. Holy Smoke: Cambodians Fight Tobacco - Buddhist monks lead anti-tobacco campaign in Cambodia.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2002
Copyright Date: 2001
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-153-3
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-946-0
"Provides a very candid look at life in rural villages, and it opens up new avenues to think about education in a non-Western context."
Tanya Palit, Women and International Development