GlobalTribe is a new PBS series that combines the spirit of travel with a meaningful exploration of the global issues that affect us all. On our journeys to remote corners of the world, we seek to understand in human terms the universal struggles of our planet: from healing racial wounds to saving the environment to improving the lives of the poorest among us. Our quest is also to find solutions and to meet the unsung heroes in every country who offer us hope and a path to a better tomorrow.
Co-produced by KCET and Creative Visions, the series will air several times a year, featuring a different set of countries each time and a new group of visionaries who bring unique solutions to the world stage.
In between broadcasts, GlobalTribe's companion website will provide additional inspiration as well as resources to help global citizens Take a Stand, and most importantly, Be the Change.
The host of GlobalTribe is Amy Eldon.
I was brought up in Kenya, England and America, where the international schools I attended shaped my worldview like nothing else in my childhood. Because everyone was from a different background, we could ignore external differences and focus on the individual. What you looked like didn't really matter. We all felt connected, part of the same tribe.
My brother Dan was four years older than me and I saw him personify that sense of connectedness. In middle school Dan was already raising money for a Maasai family, and in high school, he started a fund for a young Kenyan friend of ours who needed a heart operation. At 19, he and a group of friends founded Student Transport Aid, to bring assistance to a refugee camp in Malawi.
I was proud when he went off to Somalia to cover the conflict as a photojournalist for Reuters. Dan used a camera to tell stories that he wanted the world to know about. He was devastated by the violence he witnessed, unable to understand how people could be so cruel to one another.
He wanted to protect me from knowing too much about what he saw. It wasn't until I looked at his photographs that I really understood how hard it was for him. Even though Dan was only 21, he realized that most of man's inhumanity to his fellow man was due to ignorance, not intent. Always positive, his motto was "find solutions, not problems."
When Dan was killed in 1993, along with three other journalists, I was haunted by the shockingly violent end to his extraordinary life. I couldn't shake off the image of him running for his life, trying to put distance between him and the frenzied mob. Dan had always been the one to take my hand and guide me through every challenging situation and I couldn't bear the thought of him being alone, afraid and in terrible pain. I was also very confused. How could my brother be killed by the same people he was desperately trying to help?
At the age of 19, I started to question everything about my life. I left college and entered a very dark period. I had so many questions about what motivated Dan to do the work he did and what might have happened to him had he lived. I also wanted to know what could lead people to do such unspeakable things to each other. After much soul searching and with the support of my parents, I decided to enroll in the School of Communications at Boston University. I wanted to tell stories that mattered and needed the tools. While in a documentary studies class, I wrote a treatment about war photographers in which I asked all the questions that had been troubling me. Miraculously, the treatment caught the eye of the President of TBS, and my mom and I were able to turn it into our first film, Dying to tell the Story, which profiles journalists who risk their lives to bring us the news. After seeing the global response to the film, I realized the incredible power of television to inform, educate and inspire people.
Now five years later, in the spirit of Dan, my brother who never gave up, I am very excited to introduce you to our new PBS series, GlobalTribe. For me, it's a humbling, yet inspiring, quest to seek out individuals all over the world who are finding solutions to the problems we face: brave souls who are not afraid to take a stand- everyday visionaries who are illuminating a path for others to follow. I believe in these troubled times, we have to begin to reach across our political borders and join forces as members of a new GlobalTribe to make our world a better place.
We all know what the problems are. Now we need to find solutions. More than that, we must "be the change we wish to see," as Gandhi once said. It's up to each one of us to take a stand and to care about one another as we begin to reinvent the world.