We as a society are quick to forget that we are blessed to have access to clean water, food, education and shelter, something that nearly half of the world's population doesn't have. As a result, most of us have never really processed how difficult being denied these basic human rights are. None of us have ever really thought about what it must be like walking miles in the African heat, with temperatures of up to 57 degrees, just to collect some uncontaminated water. Well, you can now experience an aspect of this in NYC with a virtual reality movie called 'The Source', courtesy of the organization Charity Water. What makes this movie special is that it allows you to have a first hand perspective of the environment of a small African village. But before I get into it I'll tell you a bit about the organization who created it.
Charity Water is a non-profit group that brings awareness and provides clean drinking water to developing countries. To celebrate their 10th year, they opened the virtual reality installation in lower Manhattan for a span of three weeks which consists of a short movie for visitors. The venue has been set up with multiple small sections to view the movie. These areas are circular and surrounded by plastic gas tanks. These tanks are used as a representation of the method of carrying water in some developing countries. It's a 30 minute wait to view the movie but the value of the experience definitely overshadows this.
With a VR (virtual reality) headset along with headphones, you are taken into a small village located in Ethiopia to witness the story of a young girl by the name of Selam, whose village only contains streams of water contaminated by leeches and other bacteria. This short movie along with the VR headset allows you to see the struggle that she must endure to find clean water and transport back to her home, and also explores how her journey to provide for her family is costing her an education.
While not giving away too much of the movie, it's a breath taking experience that enables you to make a difference in the world. It puts your own life into perspective and makes you appreciate the basic necessities that we tend to take for granted. By providing them with your email address you can help by donating $30 which contributes to the distribution of clean water to communities around the world, which makes donating and participating in this event truly worthwhile.
Location: The Winter Garden in Brookfield Place, 230 Vesey Street, NYC
Date: Tuesday August 9th - Sunday August 28th 2016
Time: 11 am to 8 pm
All images: © Isaiah Carter