Stories Of Survival

As a journalist and documentary filmmaker who has worked in 15 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, shedding light on difficult human stories was a day to day reality. But often when hearing the stories firsthand, they seemed less terrifying. Why? Because there was a strong spirit of resilience about each storyteller. They were not broken or empty but full of the raw emotion and intention to live another day that can only characterise a survivor.

I was touched by the way the human spirit emerged in these types of situations and the grace and dignity inherent in survival. While working in Kenya, I set about trying to amplify the voices of one billion survivors around the world.

Inspiration flooded through me as I observed the courage to forgive, the bravery to pursue another day, the generosity of spirit to welcome in life again, the patience to overcome pain and the openness to live another way. It amazed me how there was always time for a smile, always time to reach a hand out, always time to try, amongst humans who have experienced horrors so unimaginable, that we imagine we may not survive them. 

Their often silenced achievements, for which the reward was living another day, were perhaps greater than the ones of people who inhabit the world’s stage. On Stories Of Survival, they have a place to be seen and to be heard. A place that says to them: you have inherent, irrevocable and undeniable value. 

This project has attracted support from journalists from around the world and nearly 300,000 social media followers. It grew with four values at its core: Social change; Healing; Voices and Pluralism.