Protected Passage

Extorted, followed, threatened, harmed. Facing these frightening realities, many families in Honduras have no choice but to flee their homes and communities in hope they can start anew somewhere far away, somewhere safe. ChildFund supports them on that perilous journey North. Through the Protected Passage program, ChildFund supports refugees and migrants at shelters like the one seen here – and others in Central America – with daily food, diapers, medical equipment, educational and psycho-social support, as well as computers and play equipment. The video above was the centerpiece for a recent (extremely successful) Mother’s Day fundraising gala by ChildFund, which brought over $140,000 for the organization in a single night. Names and exact locations have been withheld from this post for protection purposes.

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Power and Light

After an extended, COVID-induced hiatus, I’m back to field-based assignment work again. My first time out in 11 months was a brief journey to Guatemala in January, covering rural solar electrification and clean water projects for the Appropriate Technology Collaborative and their local partner, Mayan Power and Light. Drone in tow, I took a couple days to explore the beauty of el Lago de Atitlán and Antigua, just before the volcanoes got angry. Copyright Jake Lyell Photograhy, LLC, 2021. All rights reserved.

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I’m Still Here

I’m still here; a desperate title to my latest entry, and one to define a peculiar and surreal time in my career. How in the world can I still be working into the 7th month of international travel restrictions? Answer: I’m privileged to have clients that look to me to tell their stories and communicate their crucial work to donors, stakeholders and the public at large. Here are a few highlights of videos I’ve edited and produced over the last few months. The majority of the shots were mined from my footage archive, with a bit of supplement from Pond5. The above piece was made for Corus International, a new ensemble of organizations working to end extreme poverty by harnessing the combined powers of the private for-profit and development-aid sectors. This is currently airing in ads on LinkedIn in order to introduce the new umbrella organization to professionals working in[…]

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Meditations for Holy Week

As churches have moved their worship services online in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, some have incorporated videos into their streaming presentations. One of my regular clients is Lutheran World Relief, a faith-based development and relief organization which draws much of its financial support from the Lutheran Church community in the USA. LWR commissioned these two videos to be shown during Holy Week. They highlight the integral relationship between Christian Faith and love and charity toward others. The first piece, solemn in nature, accompanies Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, which are somber days during Holy Week in which Christians reflect on Christ’s sufferings. Bright and celebratory, the second piece accompanies Easter Sunday, marking the morning of Christ’s resurrection from the tomb. With the exception of a couple of stock video clips I spliced in here, I used my back catalog of clips to produce these two videos. The featured[…]

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Celebrating International Women’s Day

I produced this dance-inducing video for the marking of International Women’s Day by ChildFund at an advocacy event in Washington, DC, promoting the Girls LEAD Act  – a bill that recognizes and promotes girls’ civic and political leadership as a priority for U.S. foreign assistance efforts. Following a “call for entries” to ChildFund’s 23 offices around the world, I chose the most thought-provoking soundbites to incorporate with some existing high-intensity dance footage. Herein, also, are some shots celebrating women and girls from recent assignments in Morocco, India, Nepal and Uganda.  

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She Feeds the World

Here are some stills from a recent whirlwind assignment with CARE in Peru, where I had the chance to document the lives of some of the women participating in PepsiCo Foundation’s She Feeds the World Initiative. In just four days, we visited women and their families who are working in the agriculture sector across the country from the scrub-desert far north of the country, to the tropical savannas of Sullana, to Lima’s chilly suburbs built along the dunes lining the Pacific. The village of Salitral is a farming hub for the banana industry. The women at the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Salitral spotted a business opportunity when they saw cartons of over-ripe bananas being discarded by the farms each day. These too-ripe-to-eat bananas are perfect for making banana jam, a delectable jelly that’s usually spread on toast, cakes or cookies. The She Feeds the World initiative gave these ladies[…]

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ChildFund in the Philippines

These days my work with ChildFund involves getting to the heart of what the organization does through personal video storytelling. I’ve been talking to current and former sponsored children, and their parents, to see how participation in the program leads to transformation in their lives today and puts them on solid ground when they move on to adulthood. Hazel, whose profile is shown above, is a current sponsored child living in rural Mindanao, while Ana Maeh, below, grew up in the program and is now a teacher in Manila. Their stories would be entirely different had not someone from far away made the decision to intervene in their lives.   All photographs and video copyright Jake Lyell Photography, LLC 2019. All rights reserved.

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Georgia on my Mind

This relatively tiny slice of the Caucasus is one of my favorite corners of the world, and I relish any opportunity to come here. From the ancient castles, churches, rich culture and heritage to the stunning architecture and wonderfully unique wine and food (all at affordable prices) there’s really nothing not to love about Georgia, aside from the fact that its greedy northern neighbor keeps carving out slices of the country’s sovereign territory. I thought about not making this post so I could keep more of this place to myself. BTW I brought my drone. Below is an aerial view of the Ujarma fortress, circa 1100, followed by the Jvari church, circa 600. Other shots are from Tbilisi, Gori, and the Davit Gareja Monastery on the border with Azerbaijan.

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