The Vrinda Project - Stories of Development Cooperation

The Vrinda Project - Episodes 1-4

MDG 1 - Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education
MDG 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
MDG 4: Reduce child mortality

  • The Vrinda Project - Episodes 5 - 8

    MDG 5: Improve maternal health
    MDG 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
    MDG 7 - Ensure environmental sustainability
    MDG 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

  • The Vrinda Project - Episodes 1-8

    "Vrinda" (वृन्दा) in Sanskrit signifies the "harmony resulting from the choice of working together for the same objective" (from the root वृ = to choose).
    The Vrinda Project is a knowledge sharing action: it creates a peer-to-peer cooperative environment where development actors share their experiences, express their views and enable each other to better tackle development cooperation issues

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It's the story of a travel. From Europe, we went to Africa, South Asia, the Middle East and South America, to cover projects of international cooperation.

From the original topic assigned to us, the MDG programme, we went on to search why mainstream media finds it so difficult to cover activities of peacebuilding.

We collected stories on the work in progress for reducing extreme poverty, promoting basic education, empowering women, reducing the child mortality, improving maternal health, fighting against epidemics, protecting the environment, and promoting fair relationship amongst nations.

We shared these stories on the Internet but we wanted them to be broadcast on television. So, we interviewed policy makers and we shared with them the story of our effort to narrate how different people are rediscovering their own values by learning to appreciate the values of others.

It was a difficult journey. We had to overcome media stereotypes of “bad news is news that sells”. We had to bring on board editors that are usually keen on aligning with established prejudices among public, because they sell audiences to advertisers, not awareness to audiences.
We had to redefine communication as something that isn’t an exchange of preconceived notions but is a new creation that breaks the isolation of people, enables "participation" and builds a sense of "community".

In this journey, what we really learned was that development cannot be "given" in the same way that education cannot be “delivered” and participation cannot be “bought”. We learned that development is a process that requires communication and cooperation; that this is possible only as far as counterparts act in a reciprocally empowering manner, because they recognize that, in order to fully realize themselves, they need the self-realization of the others.

Now, we would like to share this journey with you; because this is where we wanted to arrive when we started it.