Technology is a powerful tool with the potential to be used for noble purposes. At One Media Player per Teacher (OMPT), video enthusiasm unites with the desire to help society. OMPT, a non-profit organization, uses video technology to create positive social transformation in underserved communities. Their method for alleviating suffering around the globe is as creative as it is effective: OMPT partners with local organizations and teaches them how to create community-driven, educational videos.
So why should Videomaker readers pay attention to OMPT? Well, besides a mutual interest in video, both organizations have the same founder. OMPT was started in 2008 by Matt York, who founded Videomaker, Inc. more than 25 years ago. Under his leadership, OMPT partners with organizations around the world to achieve humanitarian goals. Since local organizations are often best suited to sustain long-term community development, OMPT focuses on enabling non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to reach people through video.
Video is Bigger Than Entertainment
Video is ideal as an educational medium since it cuts down on printed materials and facilitates greater audience involvement. Because of its visual nature, the obstacle of illiteracy is eliminated. Plus, locally-made video is culturally relevant and tailored to fit the language and needs of the community. A video format makes it easy and efficient to broadcast knowledge—from how to construct a fuel-saving stove to the best way to cultivate yams. An educational approach based around video fits in perfectly with NGOs whose modus operandi is intervention in the areas of health, agriculture, education, and human rights.
With an office adjacent to Videomaker, OMPT is constantly immersed in an environment focused on video production and technology. When it comes to finding and testing video tools for non-profit work, OMPT is uniquely poised to receive expert information about video technology advancements. Videomaker knows a thing or two about camcorders and projectors, and OMPT uses this knowledge to alleviate suffering in the poorest parts of the world. Videomaker’s expertise enables OMPT to combine quality gear with practical training methods for their NGO partners.
With Great Technology Comes Great Responsibility
The portable video equipment that OMPT distributes is self-contained, small in size, and solar-powered. It’s durable enough for off-the-grid locations and it’s customized to fit the needs of individual organizations. For example, NGOs supplied with pico projectors can share video in highly isolated places. Pico projectors are battery-powered cordless devices small enough to fit in a pocket, yet able to project video onto a variety of surfaces. Versatile equipment like this allows NGOs to reach the estimated one billion impoverished people in the developing world who still lack basic health and educational resources.
For the first week in August, OMPT is in Rwanda to launch a video education program for the staff of Global Communities—a non-profit that works with communities to develop a globally sustainable future. It will also be a great learning opportunity to evaluate how effective the video program is at prompting desired behavior modification. This project is just a taste of the various endeavors OMPT has been involved with in the past five years. In recent months, the team has been to Mozambique and Nepal to collaborate with Save the Children. OMPT was able to teach the staff how to successfully integrate video into their Literacy Boost project.
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Lizi Urbanowicz is an independent writer and video enthusiast.