Move over, Charity: Water; here comes Love, Light and Melody.

by Jon Thompson on August 17, 2009

I was scrolling through the videos over on my new favorite site Virb when I came across this one with an opening shot of a guy standing in a trash dump in Managua, Nicaragua:

On The Ground from Love Light & Melody on Vimeo.

As you can see from the titles his name is Daniel Bain and he works for the organization Love, Light and Melody. I had never heard of them but the video was clean and well shot and Daniel’s story compelling so I watched all the way through and then checked out their site:

It’s an absolutely gorgeous site with fantastic imagery and a great soundtrack. The About page states that the organization was started by a musician named Brad Corrigan. The site is careful not to overtly discuss it’s religious roots but it seems pretty evident from video, Introduction to Love, Light and Melody, that the organization seems divinely inspired. Charity: Water, the reigning champions of the humanitarian social media sector, is just as discrete. For my part, I really don’t care what organization you work for as long as you are out there doing the work. As I used to say when I was out there in the field, “If you aren’t standing next to me you don’t exist.”

That’s the one thing that gets me about Live, Light and Melody. They look good, sound good, and most importantly they are out there in the field but what exactly are they doing? I have watched a couple of their videos and it seems they are working with the children of the individuals that spend their days scavenging through the trash heap. It’s nice to see that they work with local orgs already on the ground but I still need a clearer picture of what exactly they are up to. Perhaps they’ll discover this post and leave a comment which lays out their game plan.

One thing I did notice the horrible, acrid smoke which continuously billows from the burning trash. I am not sure they want their volunteers spending too much time in that toxic plume. I noticed that one of their projects focuses on getting the kids out of the area for a bit of break. I have to imagine that part of the reason is to get them away from the fumes and smoke.

My suggestion? Focus on the air. Charity: Water has one of the elements covered so why not pick another one. That would give them a more defined focus and it seems a logical step to take. Run some tests and use the stats as a compelling argument for why they need to clean the place up. Get the green movement involved and have them help set-up a more organized recycling process that isolates the burn areas (I know nothing at all about where they work so I am just throwing out ideas). Lastly, maybe call Paul Stamets and ask him to come down and help set up a mycoremediation project:

Kudos to Love, Light and Melody for the work they are doing. I just hope they focus on the Light component and start working on clearing the air down there.

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