It's not often that the UN World Food Programme gets a role in a movie, but it does in Blood Diamond with Leonardo DiCaprio, which was released early this month. The WFP provided food aid from 1991-2002 during the civil war in Sierra Leone.
On the WFP site you can:
* Read about "Blood, Diamonds and Hunger" and the WFP's work in Sierra Leone.
* Read an interview with Paul Arès, the former WFP regional manager for West Africa, about his experience in Sierra Leone in the 1990s.
* Watch a PSA for WFP by Blood Diamond stars Djimon Hounsou and Jennifer Connelly.
The film has gotten mixed reviews. 97 "fresh" and 62 "rotton" tomatoes on Rotton Tomatoes. I thought it was powerful. Yes, there are Hollywood moments in the script where you cringe, but there are many real moments when you suffer with Djimon Hounsou's character, Solomon Vandy, as he tries to reunite his family. (I thought he should have been nominated for a Golden Globe, too).
Sometimes when we are working for social change, whether through our jobs, donations, advocacy, volunteering, or purchases, we get burned out. We think our work isn't making a difference, or our check isn't needed, or we don't need to email friends about a campaign, or we won't be missed if we don't volunteer this week, or buying one bag of coffee that is Fair Trade is an insignificant act. We all do it. It's normal. It's human. But movies like Blood Diamond remind us that behind every cause, movement, campaign and nonprofit there are real people, and when we allow our empathy for them to renew us, we're ready to take action again.