Pastor Marrion © Riccardo Gangale.
07 Dec 2011
Spotlight on crowdfunding: The Pastor Marrion Fund
Pastor Marrion P'Udongo has been called the "Oskar Schindler" of Congo, a man who's dedicated himself to saving and nurturing the lives of others. He's also been one of the most reliable fixers for photographers and journalists in the war-torn country, and he now needs your help
"The fixer is not only your go-to person for information, they'll keep you updated when you're not in the country," VII Photo member Marcus Bleasdale told BJP last August. "They will start to understand what scope the work has, and they will become a partner in the creation of that work; they're no longer a fixer at that point." For the past 12 years, Bleasdale has been relying on one fixer while working in Congo – Marion P’Udongo.
P'Udongo speaks nine different languages. "But he's also invaluable because he comes from a tribe that isn't involved in any of the conflicts - it's very important to look at the dynamics of the country you're working in and choose a fixer that doesn't compromise your independent reporting and yours or their safety," said Bleasdale.
In fact, P'Udongo has established himself as one of the best fixers in the world. He's worked for The New York Times, Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, BBC, PBS, NPR, and ABC's Nightline. "If you've read a story about Congo in recent years, or seen one on television, the pastor probably helped produce it," now say the organisers of The Pastor Marrion Fund.
The Fund was created after Pastor Marrion was diagnosed with acute renal failure and nearly died. "After a year of intense fundraising, we managed to raise enough for the pastor to receive a kidney transplant on 26 May at Nairobi Hospital. Some complications have kept the pastor hospitalized while the kidney responds and heals. The transplant and subsequent care have nearly exhausted our funds, so we still desperately need your help," say the organisers.
The Pastor Marrion Fund is looking to raise money to cover hospital bills as well as the necessary medicine. For more information and to help, visit The Pastor Marion Fund page on the IndieGoGo website.
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