Monday, April 10, 2017

How Creative is Social Justice?..or What's this got to do with advertising....

Creativity posted an article about JWT Amsterdam's Executive Creative Director Bas Korsten, creating an initiative of starting a school in India for young girls who were or are child prostitutes.
They have started a school called: School for Justice.

This school intends to train these young girls law to empower them to prosecute the people who force them into this type of work.

Starting with 19 students, they will receive free tuition, education, and mentoring. Then when they are of university age they will go on to attain a law degree.

Now this is quite the program. And there's no mention of who or what is funding this initiative. And
it certainly goes beyond the scope of most awareness campaigns for other not for profits done by all ad agencies as a part of the agencies giving, that struggle along with the usual pro bono ads and air time they can muster from the agency representing them.

It reminds me of the not for profit: Kids with Cameras foundation that filmed the award winning documentary:  Born Into Brothels  in 2004 based on photographer Zana Briski's initiative to give kids
point and shoot cameras and free-reign to photograph everyday life in Calcutta. The documentary follows Briski into the squalor of the red light district and these children's lives. Living with drugged fathers and abusive mothers whose hopes for money lie in the children becoming prostitutes like themselves, is hard to watch.

Even with the children earning International recognition for their photos, in the end, only one
pursued the opportunities they had to attend school which Briski went to great lengths to attain for them and try to elevate their lives beyond the lower caste (more like outcast) system they and their families for generations before them were born into.

In this new School for Justice program, studying law for any person requires special abilities and certainly a higher IQ. And the expectation that these girls will go beyond basic knowledge of their legal rights all the way to being recognized as lawyers in India is a huge expectation on many levels;  the girls, their families and for the social caste system entrenched in the Indian culture in general.

In theory it sounds fantastic. And in reality, it seems like these nineteen have won a lottery. But only time will tell.

The Kids with Cameras Foundation, which has now evolved into another iteration called: Hope House, A Safe Place Away from the Red Light, is now offering a safe haven
for young girls from Calcutta, to live, learn and realize a better future.

In any event, it will be interesting to see an update in a year or so as to how this School for Justice is doing. This goes way beyond not for profit pro bono work normally done by agencies and it will be something to watch.