Environmentalist, photographer, and filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand is renowned worldwide for documenting the cost of climate change around the globe. Today, he joins Friendship to support everyday heroes risking their lives during the pandemic in some of the remotest, most climate-impacted areas in the world to give their communities a life of dignity and hope, states a press release.
These heroes are the medical teams dedicating their lives to work year after year on hospital ships away from their home and family; the doctors and nurses travelling up and down remote rivers, performing life-changing surgeries; the Friendship Paralegals combatting child marriage, discrimination, and exclusion from public services; down to the girls and boys from the Friendship schools who, whilst studying in often treacherous climatic conditions, achieve stellar results year after year.
"Our people are full of determination and hope," says Runa Khan, founder and executive director of Friendship. "They may not have our luxuries. But they have overwhelming courage and resilience. If we and our international partners take steps in supporting them and learn from them, borrowing some of their courage, the world will perhaps have more solidarity, more understanding, and we may find new hope in our tomorrow."
The second phase of the campaign will feature Yann's signature aerial photography, showing the effects of climate change in low-lying Bangladesh, where natural disasters are increasingly commonplace. The images follow communities for whom environmental migration is a way of life, and whose resilience and courage are an inspiration for us all in a world of escalating disasters.
The Everybody Needs Friends and Heroes campaign uses the influence and power of global personalities like Yann to highlight the true heroes of our age: the frontliners on the battleground of the climate crisis. The first phase of this campaign in February, featured world no. 1 cricket all-rounder, Shakib Al Hasan, who joined the Friendship team in the chars, and, impressed by the resilience of these isolated, river-island communities, chose to lend his influence, his goodwill, and his voice in raising awareness about their struggles.
This is Friendship's 20th year working in remote and hard-to-reach areas that are particularly vulnerable to climatic disasters. Friendship trains and empowers local communities to make them more resilient, but also relies on their knowledge and insight.