Powerful video to ‘Shine A Light’ on child mortality and global poverty

International humanitarian aid charity Human Appeal has partnered with multi award-winning content agency Don’t Panic London to produce an arresting new film. ‘Shine A Light’ raises awareness of the variety of human rights abuses and humanitarian issues that Human Appeal seeks to redress.

‘Shine A Light’ is an emotive and powerful short film that explores the causes of child mortality around the world. It shows a child’s shadow frozen in time and seamlessly replaced with the identical shadow of a genuine arrangement of rotting food, damaged medical equipment, dirty water, weapons and ammunition.

Watch the video: https://youtu.be/d967ddQWuOM

Objects in the sculpture represent Human Appeal’s work in 25 countries across three continents:

  • A family photo with the parents singed out represents the 132 million orphans worldwide (1). Human Appeal donors currently sponsor 80,000 orphans around the world.
  • Broken syringes and rusty surgical tools signify the 400 million people without access to essential health services (2). Human Appeal is in the process of establishing and equipping a maternal health centre in Satkhira district, Bangladesh, to benefit 2,000 poverty-stricken pregnant women in the area.
  • Insect-ridden food shows that 3 million young lives are lost unnecessarily each year through malnutrition (3). Human Appeal has delivered over 10 million kilos of flour across Syria alone in the past two years, benefiting over 2.7 million people.
  • Dirty water dripping from a tap denotes that one in nine people are without access to clean water (4). Human Appeal has built water purification plants in war-torn regions such as Palestine, providing 200,000 children with safe water as a result.
  • Weaponry and torn and soiled sheets reflect the situation of millions driven from their homes by conflict. Human Appeal has established a safe village for 100 displaced families in Aleppo in Syria, with plans to provide another this year.

Human Appeal image

Human Appeal has calculated that 6.3m children worldwide need saving. This refers to the World Health Organization’s figure on the number of children who die each year before the age of five, largely from preventable causes.

The film was directed by renowned director and visual effects specialist Markus Lundqvist of production house Knucklehead. The sculpture was crafted by The Arch Model Studio in London, the same workshop responsible for the LEGO models featured in Don’t Panic’s viral hit for Greenpeace last year.

Richard Beer, Creative Director at Don’t Panic, said, “Shadow sculptures make a powerful visual statement – most obviously with the shape they cast on the wall, but also by the elements that make up the sculpture itself. And, of course, they only make sense from a certain perspective. 

“This film explores what exactly is casting this evocative shadow. Our sculpture represents many of the causes of child mortality around the world: not just the obvious war, famine and pestilence, but also less direct causes such as lack of education or being orphaned. When you stop to look at the issues from the right perspective, the scale of it all is terrifying. But with the right approach, and with enough people willing to do something about it, every single one of those deaths is preventable.

“We hope that our video inspires people to be the little girl: to go back and rescue those who have been left behind.”

The film has been launched to coincide with the start of Ramadan. The month of Ramadan is extremely important for charitable giving because, besides fasting, Muslims are expected to make contributions to charity during this period. 

Othman Moqbel, CEO of Human Appeal, commented, “This year’s Ramadan campaign aims to spread awareness not only of the scale of global poverty, but also all the factors which contribute to the problem. From providing access to clean water to helping prevent the spread of disease, this film highlights the work that Human Appeal does to help some of the world’s poorest people. We hope its inclusive, global message will encourage both Muslims and non-Muslims alike to donate.”

Human Appeal has grown significantly over the past few years, and its progress in helping in times of crisis and delivering sustainable development programmes to the world’s poorest nations can be found on its website.


(1) Data: UNICEF

(2) Data: World Health Organisation

(3) Data: UNICEF

(4) Data: WHO/UNICEF