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Khon Kaen Scavenging Project ???

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JohnPaulGeorgeRingo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JohnPaulGeorgeRingo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Khon Kaen Scavenging Project ???
    Posted: 27 Jun 12 at 21:30

The Khon Kaen Scavenging Project

A documentary following a community of scavengers as they build a recycling center, creating hope for a better tomorrow.

http://www.indiegogo.com/khonkaenscavenging
 
 
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Edited by rexall - 28 Jun 12 at 07:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KK Veteran Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 12 at 06:49
Speaking as someone who has spent a career in pro news broadcasting with global companies this smacks of an amateur trying to raise funds for a video that will never be seen on tv.

Easy to come to somewhere like KK and make it look third world. The truth is that most recyclers in the city make a reasonable living even though it may not be the most desirable of jobs.

This girl has no media background but is raising $5k to come and make Khon Kaen look poor. Has she got a work visa? I doubt it. Would the Thai's be happy with what she produces. I think not.

If I was down to my last $10 I'd rather be in KK than San Jose.


Call me a cynic but if you want to send me $5000 dollars I'll make a video on the homeless in her home town San Jose.

Life In a Bag


"During my 10 years as a city cop, I saw the best and worst of the homeless, and spent a lot of time in shelters, doing my job, or just hanging out being a human face ..."


When I went to college at 17, I noticed a very large homeless population around San Jose State.  This was due to former Governor Ronald Reagan shutting down the majority of the mental institutions in California and transferring patients to halfway houses all over big cities, with large concentrations in San Jose.  

After I moved out of the dorms, and into my own apartment, I started to make bag lunches for a homeless man on a regular basis for about a year.  Later on, after I graduated and became a police officer, my compassion continued.  I did not stop being a goodhearted person just because I wore a uniform.


http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=homeless+people+of+san+jose&view=detail&id=53B644623E70639AE3EAA704E827A81D23925142&FORM=IDFRIR

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nifty View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nifty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 12 at 09:47
So her and her boyfriend will get a all expenses paid holiday, with a free camera oh and don't forget free batteries and tapes, and pay for travel documents, and to make it look legit we will give some food and paper when we meet the people.
red army.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KK Veteran Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 12 at 15:59
Originally posted by nifty nifty wrote:

So her and her boyfriend will get a all expenses paid holiday, with a free camera oh and don't forget free batteries and tapes, and pay for travel documents, and to make it look legit we will give some food and paper when we meet the people.

That's about it Nifty.Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SkyyWalker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 12 at 16:28
Though you may be correct, gentlemen, you are certainly rushing to judgment. She claims to be in San Jose, California. Most of my family live within 100km of San Jose. My brother has worked at the same newspaper as a photojournalist for 21 years and I've already put him on to her. I'll report back soon, but in the meantime, is it really so hard for you guys to think that this may actually be a genuine, philanthropic project?

I've contacted the person with the following innocuous e-mail 24 hours ago which has yet to receive a reply:

Hi...I live in Khon Kaen, but I used to live near you in the Bay Area. My Thai wife, son and I would love to assist you. How can we help?

I did mean what I said. If it's genuine, I will help. If not, well...she'll likely appear in a local newspaper!LOL




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote KK Veteran Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 12 at 17:36
I'm not suggesting she is coming to Thailand for non genuine reasons however I dislike the way Western pseudo journalists are quick try and show the worst. Why target Thailand?

Will she have a visa to permit her to work as a journalist? I doubt it.

Here is her 'mission statement'.

We will document a range of issues that are part of the occupation of scavenging.
These issues include:
·      The difficulty or the challenge to supporting a family on such a low income ($3 to $10/day)
·      Increase in number of scavengers in recent years
·      Long hours
·      Heath concerns
·      Public scrutiny
·      Lack of support from government
 


The ' difficulty' of trying to survive as she put it on up to 300 baht a day is common to a lot of employment in Thailand. However the cost of living is also a fraction of the USA. 300 baht a day is not a bad wage for someone with little education. There are plenty of trash depots in the city who buy paper and glass and I've met some of the collectors who make up to 500 baht a day. The guys who work on the city refuse trucks at night can be seen going through the rubbish as they collect it because they make a secondary income from it. 

No one forces the garbage collectors to do the job. As for health concerns and smell perhaps she should take a look at the talats (markets) downtown.

From what I've seen so far she is trying to suggest that the recyclers in the city are akin to India's Dalit's.

Scavengers, who are invariably from the lower-caste, "untouchable" (Dalit) community, clear rubbish and human waste from the streets and open drains outside homes.

Mr Pathak remembers being reprimanded by his grandmother for touching a low-caste woman in his village in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

"She forced me to swallow cow dung, cow urine, sand and Ganges water to purify myself," recalls Mr Pathak.

He later lived in a scavenger community for over three months, where he was shocked to come across the case of a newly-married woman forced by her in-laws and husband to clean toilets.

For the past three decades, Mr Pathak has worked in the hope that his organisation can liberate scavengers. He has helped develop a range of cheap, squat-type toilets.

"In India we have half a million scavengers who still manually clean about 10 million toilets daily," says Mr Pathak.

"If they have done good things for the society by cleaning toilets, what has the society done for them?





Edited by KK Veteran - 28 Jun 12 at 17:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SkyyWalker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 12 at 20:46
That's a ridiculous comparison, KKV. I watched her video again and reread the text. Of course she's a pseudo journalist. So what. She's not pretending to be with NBC or BBC.

How is she making Khon Kaen look bad? She's simply drawing attention to a section of society that she has experience with. Additionally, she's speaks very highly of these people and lived with them! The only reason a Thai person wouldn't want anyone to see this is ego (loss of face). Rather than being open and honest about the totality and reality of their nation, Thais prefer to dance around the truth, often while doing nothing to rectify the perceived problem.

She won't need to get a work permit for journalism-a work permit based on volunteering should suffice.

KKV-you said something earlier about how easy it is for foreigners to come here and make Thailand look like a third world country. Are you suggesting Thailand is a first world country? Even in Southeast Asia, Thailand is a second world country and the we're living in the poorest region of it. By the way, I'm not using these terms in their original "Cold War" meanings. If I was Thailand would be classified "third world".

Anyway, maybe she's full of sh*t. I'll find out soon enough. Until then, I'm giving her the benefit of the doubt and a big thumbs up.Thumbs Up

Oh, one more thing. If you were down to $10 I assure you that you'd want to be in San Jose. I won't elaborate on why, though. I'd just be accused of Thai bashing plus I'm under surveillance, of course.


Edited by SkyyWalker - 28 Jun 12 at 20:49




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SkyyWalker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 12 at 22:28
Update: she returned my e-mail and will be here in a week.

Here's what my bro had to say based on the limited time he had to look into it:

My initial take after looking at the site, all the different tabs, etc. is that it is almost definitely legit ... that is a LOT of work, time, involvement, time, etc. to be a scam, and it all sounds and looks very sincere.
I think her effort in speaking Thai, without reading from a script (watch her eyes in one of the middle videos in the Gallery, where she is in black shirt and there are black file cabinets on her right), took more than a bit of time and that makes it seem more sincere and legit than anything else -- what the hell kinda uber-dedicated scammer would learn that seemingly so well?!?  I don't know how her pronunciation and tonal usage was, seems like a great effort??, but you probably do.

BUT, we won't truly know until there is a finished recycling center and a finished film, or not -- I mean, she may indeed intend to do those things, but once she has $5,000 (minus the website's 4-9% cut), maybe she will just buy a used Mustang with a bitchin' stereo!?!  :O

This is interesting, how the site works and how it makes money ... now that is a almost a little bit of a scam, or at least a pretty sweet deal for them once they established the site -- I mean, they mainly just get to watch their cut roll in?:
(also note how they are a .com and not a non-profit .org, of course, which they could have chosen to be)

Time will tell...






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SkyyWalker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Aug 12 at 17:17
I received another e-mail from Alicia today...she's been in KKC for over a week and is moving ahead with her project. I'll meet her soon, but not until my family gets back from California in a few days. I'm sending her a link to this thread. Perhaps she'll join us.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mayfliesmayfly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Aug 12 at 19:13
 

As a self claimed professional journalist, I would expect you to have done a little more research before making the claims that you do.  I would also expect for a journalist to report all of the information presented to them, instead of portraying a biased view, which you have not done. 

 

“This girl has no media background”

If you had taken the time to look at my resume which is so conveniently included on the Indiegogo site, you would see that I got my undergraduate degree in Communication with an emphasis in video production.  You would also see that I have volunteered at local TV stations and worked with a well known documentary filmmaker who has been in the business for over 35 years.  If you took the time to look at the gallery section, you would also see my reel, showing that I have worked on projects before.  You would also see that my senior thesis project was shown in festivals.

 

“I'll make a video on the homeless in her home town San Jose”

Again, if you had looked at my reel, or my youtube channel (both which are on the site), you would see that I have made a video about homelessness in San Jose!  I was able to build a friendship with a local homeless man, tell his story, and am proud to report that he is now clean and sober, and no longer living on the streets.

 

In response to getting a free camera:

Nope, sorry, wrong again.  Bought that myself with my own money.  I bought it actually before making another documentary in Thailand about a children’s home.  Bought the batteries, too.  Also bought the other video camera that I have.  In fact, I worked very hard before coming in order to save money so that I would be able to have an income.  In case you’re curious, I’m not currently getting a salary from this, despite the fact that most foundations suggest filmmakers do include a salary for themselves in their budget.  I am also only using the money for basics, so things like my motorcycle and my coffee are all paid for by me.

 

“Here is her 'mission statement'.”

You only included a small portion of a longer list.  And you also left out this part right below it, which goes against this statement “Would the Thai's be happy with what she produces. I think not.”

 

Process

COMMUNITY involvement and building new relationships

It is important to have trusting relationships when filming documentaries of a personal nature.  Because of this, I will use my preexisting relationship with the community to build a strong foundation for the film.  Through these individuals, I hope to make new connections as well.

 

It is also important to us to allow the subjects to become stakeholders in this film.  We do not want to impose our views and beliefs onto their story, and therefore will work with them to understand what they want the film to be about.

 

Furthermore, the community members have the greatest amount of knowledge about their needs and desires in terms of how they would like to improve their community.  They will be key in helping in all aspects of the building of the recycling center.

 

To further disprove this statement, you can take a look at one of my more recent blog posts:

http://khonkaenurbanlife.tumblr.com/post/28303984197/only-the-freighting-things-are-worth-doing

 

“300 baht a day is not a bad wage for someone with little education. There are plenty of trash depots in the city who buy paper and glass and I've met some of the collectors who make up to 500 baht a day. The guys who work on the city refuse trucks at night can be seen going through the rubbish as they collect it because they make a secondary income from it.”

 

My host father, who has been the inspiration and drive for me in this project, would make an average of 100 to 200 baht a day.  Now, that wouldn’t be a bad salary for a single person, but he is in his 60s and has been supporting his grandchildren for many years.  In fact, he has a baby living with him currently, with little support at the moment from his child.  And while you’ve met people who can make 500 baht a day, that I don’t think is the usual case.  As you said, some people even use it as a second income, making it increasingly more difficult to support a family when it is a primary income.  People are recycling themselves, making the items that scavengers DO find less available.  And, to try and support children in their educational pursuits on such a salary is difficult.  May I also point out that much of the time, the middle man in this process takes away MUCH more money that those who find the materials.  One study found that these centers can make 100,000 a month. 

 

“No one forces the garbage collectors to do the job.”

Highly disagree with this one.  I believe society forces them into this job by their inability to help those who haven’t been born into the same opportunity.  Ever heard of the circle of poverty?  The fact that I realize and understand my opportunity is the reason that I do the work that I do.

 

Have you ever been to the landfill outside of the city?  Have you ever seen the houses that are located literally feet next to giant heap of trash?  Have you seen the people who wake up at 5 am to go find recycling in the landfill?  A friend once went and scavenged with one of those people, and watched as they ate a half rotten orange that was found in the pile.  Let me tell you, if that’s not a problem then I don’t know what is.

 

I am working with these people because they have shown me kindness and they have touched me.  My life has, for whatever reason, been intertwined with theirs and it is something I will not ignore.  4 years ago, I made a short film about this very issue (as was suggested by the community) and after my host father saw it, his words were “It needs to be longer.”  And so that was my goal.

 

4 years ago, I sat with a group of villagers who homes were being threatened by a dam project.  One of them said that the thing they wish American students could do to help was to tell their story.  I can’t change their lives, or fight their fights.  But I can tell their stories.  Again, so that is my goal.

 

If you do not agree with the project or what I am doing, that is your prerogative.  However, please make sure you do your research and understand what I am doing before jumping to conclusions such as “I dislike the way Western pseudo journalists are quick try and show the worst.”

 

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