Webisodes look to inspire global action 

Jordan Freda faced the reality of Haiti’s continued struggle to recover from the devastating earthquake that killed 250,000 people in January. The 22-year-old independent-media producer in San Francisco traveled to Haiti with Global Volunteer Network in May to film the first episode of his online travel show, “Explore22.”

“This is my way of trying to help the world and do something positive,” said Freda, who posts the episodes on www.explore22.com. “My largest skill is creative media and I want to use that to help people as best as I can.”

Ever since he was young, Freda had an idea of creating a travel show geared toward rainforest preservation. Following some intensive projects at his studio, Freda said he was looking for an escape and began researching volunteer ­organizations.

In April, Freda contacted Colin Salisbury, founder and president of GVN, with the idea to send him into communities in need with a camera as a way of raising awareness and educating others worldwide. No more than a week later, Salisbury asked Freda if he wanted to go to Haiti, and “Explore22” came to ­fruition.

While in Haiti, Freda sorted through the rubble of broken buildings, helped teach art and English classes, and provided medicine to a local orphanage.

“My efforts while in Haiti aren’t really tangible — what can I do in 10 days?” Freda said. “The real difference will come from those who get inspired from this.”

The most important thing is that people see what is actually happening up close and personal, Freda said. By using film, he hopes to educate and entertain people so they will become inspired to help others in their own ways. The vivid images documented in Freda’s first episode draw attention to Haiti’s persistent need for support.

“For me, going there really puts reality into perspective,” he said. “From here to there is a complete flip-flop. Here, we’re worried about our rent payment or our insurance. There, people are worrying where they’re going to get their next clean water or what they are going to eat.”

Even though Haitians have been resilient and are working together, Freda said they still lack a garbage system, electricity and a general health plan. Freda hopes to return to Haiti to continue relief efforts, but he and his crew are now gearing up for the next episode to be filmed in Nepal. They will be joining 20 to 30 others on a 16-day climb to the base of Mount Everest that will benefit the base-camp orphanage.

“Each person is raising $2,000, which will go a long way in that country,” Freda said. “The whole concept is about doing something new while also helping communities.”

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