Some months ago I watched “Living on One Dollar” through the recommendation of friends on various social networks. It was eye-opening and compelling, and was fully conceptualized and realized by a group of college students. The premise: What is it like to live on less than $1 per day, as more than1 billion people worldwide do?

Their First Social Impact Film, Living on One Dollar

Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci along with fellow college friends, Sean Leonard, and Ryan Christofferson took this question head-on when they spent 56 days in rural Guatemala living on a dollar per day or less. Understanding that the dollar per day is an average, they picked a number from a hat each day signifying how much money they could spend that day. They share memorable experiences in understanding the most nutritious and cost-effective foods to eat, learning how to earn money, and building friendships in the village. The film has received acclaim and recognition, winning an audience award at the 2013 Sonoma International Film Festival.

Their Latest Documentary, Salam Neighbor

Now, Zach and Chris have teamed up on another social impact film experience—this time halfway around the globe. According to their research, over 9 million people have been impacted by the civil war in Syrian, with over 6 millions Syrians displaced within their own country. Over 2 million Syrians have sought safety in numerous refugee camps in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan Turkey, Egypt, and Iraq. To give voice to refugees—in the Syrian crisis and across the globe—Zach and Chris have arranged to register as refugees and live at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan for 30 days. They are just over a week into the experience, which will be the basis of their next documentary “Salam Neighbor” and have been blogging regularly. It was incredible to speak to them live from Jordan for the audio interview (below). They welcome feedback and comments, as they help to inform and impact their experience as refugees.

Meet Zach and Chris

Zach and Chris met during their freshman year of college at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) in Southern California. They found that they shared an interest in social advocacy, microfinance, and creative storytelling and began to explore ways to challenge each other to think bigger.

image adapted from livingonone.org

Chris, who was raised in Connecticut, majored in International Relations at CMC, with a focus on Economic Development. His experience in the social innovation sector includes an internships at the Grameen America in New York City and Whole Planet Foundation and his current work as Founder and Executive Director of MFI Connect, a large-scale student microfinance network.
Zach, from Bainbridge Island in Washington, also majored in International Relations at CMC. His interest in the impact sector driven him to take leadership roles at MFI Connect and as Executive Director and Co-Founder of Living on One Media.

Listen to the Interview

I caught up with Zach and Chris just after their first week as ‘registered’ refugees (i.e. they compensated the relief organization for rations, equipment, etc.)

 

Watch the Trailer for “Salam Neighbor”

To learn more about their new documentary film project, “Salam Neighbor”, take a look at their launch video below.

 

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