The United Nations Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction led me to Japan this spring. Right at the beginning we started the World Bank’s involvement with this video featuring orld Bank president Jim Kim. For two longer videos on disaster prevention and preparation, I travelled with colleagues from Washington and our Tokyo office all around Japan: Sendai, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima, Osaka. Japan’s remarkable culture, most importantly its polite, responsible and caring people, left a rather big impression on me.
Another video for the World Bank’s InfoDev department from Jamaica. InfoDev is always on the lookout for ideas and entrepreneurs around the world, which is why I visited this Rastafarian farm in Jamaica. The farmers featured in this video try to make waste from the Castor oil production into briquettes.
Filming turned out to be a challenge: the Castor plant is considered one of the most poisenous plants on the planet (it contains ricin) and spending a whole day on location I learned that the hard way…
From my recent trip to Jamaica:
How to solve the Ebola crisis? Although VIPs usually meet behind closed doors I had the chance to report on and film a high profile session at the World Bank. Instead of relying on a feed from fixed cameras in the conference room, I chose to film handheld while being amidst the participants, trying to capture the sense of urgency:
Here are some of my other videos from the meetings:
These stories for the Global Partnership for Education brought me to Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Laos. While there were many memorable moments, the reception in Laos topped it all. Not only was the Vice Minister for education more than willing to join me for a walk to Vientiane’s most important Buddhist temple for an interview – the reception in a mountain village that I was given, was so kind and heartfelt that I still feel a special connection to the villagers. Arriving at sunset, with little time left for filming, the villagers felt it to be very important to give me a proper reception: they insisted on a string ceremony in which every local attending would bind a string around my wrist for good luck. There was so much genuine joy and good will involved that I kept the strings for weeks around my wrist. I suppose not only the lady at the airport check in thought that I was a strange fellow wearing a suit and strings around my wrist..
Thirteen years ago, just after the 9/11 attacks, I spontaneously interviewed Donald Trump at Ground Zero in New York.
On this year’s anniversary of 9/11, Trump just posted a link to the interview on his facebook site.
With smoke still rising from Ground Zero and rescue crews going in and out, my cameraman Markus Zeffler and me had been at our live location in NY, getting ready for the N24 news show that would start two minutes later. About 50 yards away Donal Trump walked by, surrounded by a whole crowd of people. I asked Markus the impossible: can you ask Trump to come over for an interview, after all we are a sort of German CNN… Markus did…and succeeded: Trump walked over with him and said: I don’t have much time, how long is this going to take? A minute or so I answered and then the show started….Trump turned out to be a patient fellow and a great interview partner. Great teamwork, thanks to Markus and a risk taking, awesome CvD (Chef vom Dienst/editor in charge) in Berlin, Ronald Warin.
With the Syrian refugee crisis in full swing, I accompanied World Bank president Jim Kim on his trip to Lebanon and Jordan. We visited refugee camps, met the Lebanese prime minister and the King of Jordan.
The British NGO “Save the Children” runs a fantastic pre-school program in Mozambique. With the World Bank supporting the program, I had a chance to visit several preschools in Mozambique.