, , , , ,

Philanthropy Spotlight: India – The Great Before & After

Concepts is in the business of the before & after. We’ve produced hundreds of commercials and infomercials where we showcase the success stories from our products. Those before & afters tell the personal story of that product. For example, a new mother who lost the baby weight using one of our fitness programs or perhaps how a couple reignited their relationship through weight loss. But what about when the team at Concepts undergoes an entire before & after? Well, that happened when Concepts traveled to India to shoot a pro-bono advertisement for a girls school.

Day-2-Team-with-kids
Concepts is not only in the business of direct marketing, but we are strong believers in education and philanthropy. When we decided to fly a crew of 6 over to India to film an advertisement for The Kripalu School, a girls school in India. During our time in India, we had high hopes of creating change in the world. After all, education The Kripalu School is solely donation-funded and completely free for students to attend, positioning itself as a complete game changer in education in India. While creating video content to fundraise the school, we didn’t expect that we would undergo such a strong before & after. We went over to India to change lives, and in turn, our lives were forever changed.

Day-3-Collette-w-Hero-1024x680
Jon Calderaro, Senior Producer at Concepts, was grateful for the opportunity to bring light and awareness to such hard working women. He said, “I was very touched by the girls at the school and amazed at the level of commitment from the teachers and those in charge. They are amazing people that are doing their best to make a difference and from what I can see its working. I felt really blessed to have been a part of this project and I hope in some way my involvement will contribute to making a difference.”

Day-2-Lady-Interview

Dana Conklin, Director of Production at Concepts, had a very personal experience while on set in India. She said, “one of the wow moments for me was when we were interviewing these young girls & we asked them what their favorite subject was, or what their favorite part of school was. This seemed to stump all of them – no one had an answer. It wasn’t until one of the older Indian women told me that these girls don’t understand those types of questions – because they do not have choices, and do not know what it is like to have a ‘favorite’ anything. Coming from a country where dreams come true – this was hard to process. I knew when I was younger what my favorite subject was, who my favorite teacher was, what my favorite sports was, what my favorite lunch was, who my favorite classmates were – but most importantly, I knew I had choices and that I could be anything I wanted. I had a terrible pit in my stomach when I realized these girls don’t know what it’s like to have a choice. I hope this school not only educates them academically, but educates them worldly – giving them the choices they deserve.”

Day-2-Jesse-and-Collette

In the brutal caste system of India, too many children are left uneducated, especially the young girls. All too often, these children don’t have a choice of education. For the ones that attend The Kripalu School, they are making history. For once, these children are being educated to be able to make choices for themselves.

Day-3-Hero-2-1024x680
One of the most impactful parts for me was when we watched the school children of The Kripalu School sing together in an assembly. They were all lined up together, united, and empowered. They sang,

“May we all have pure intellect,
May we always desire to be ethical.
May we not be sad and not make others sad,
May we always have love towards all the living beings.
May we show the right direction to the one who is lost,
May we never have hatred towards anyone.”

Day-3-Girls-In-line-1024x680

As the schoolgirls sang in hopes of an education, in hopes of a difference in their lives, in hopes of a better future, they in turn made the greatest impact on our crew. It was a gift to be in the presence of these girls because we know that with an education from The Kripalu School, they will change their lives. We went to India wanting to make a difference and left India having all had great personal change.

Day-1-Public-School-Group-Shot-1024x680
The transformation that we all went through was palpable and will forever stay with us. Stay tuned to the blog to learn more about our journey and about The Kripalu School in our upcoming video.

Day-2-Collette-w-kidsAll photos by Roamaroo.com