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In 13 days, they walked 280 miles across Belize and began a movement for peace. Thousands joined. Thousands more need to see the story.

At its heart, Belize is a peaceful country, and Belizeans are a peaceful people. But the violence that has arisen in the last couple decades, especially in the cities, is a plague that, if left unchallenged, will devastate many more lives.

According to the United Nations, Belize currently has the fifth highest murder rate in the world, with 41.4 murders per 100,000 citizens. But numbers don’t tell the story. The simple truth is that in Belize City children are growing up witnessing their family members and neighbors murdered right in front of them. The truth is children are growing up to be murderers themselves. But yet, audacious as it may seem, many people strongly believe the solutions are within reach.

In February of this year, a team of parishioners from St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church in Southside Belize City walked across the length of the country. The Bishop’s Walk for Peace was their attempt to get people talking and working together towards restoring peace in Belize. As evidenced by the thousands of people who walked, helped, and were touched along the way, the walkers accomplished what they set out to do: the Peace Movement has begun.

My name is Jeremy Ruzich, a photographer and visual storyteller, and I was able to take part by documenting the entire Walk for Peace and gathering stories of those involved. The imagery, stories, and content have been captured. But now we need your help in bringing it together into a finished multimedia documentary, distributing it across Belize and beyond, and keeping the momentum of this movement going.

Your pledges to this campaign will fund post-production and related costs (including professional editing and music licensing), as well as promotion and distribution of the piece. There are, of course, a number of rewards available (at right) to help you decide your level of support. Whatever you choose to contribute is greatly appreciated, but we urge you to make it now rather than later. This Kickstarter campaign ends on July 17, and it is an all-or-nothing goal.

As I mentioned, The Bishop’s Walk for Peace successfully began a movement of restoring peace in Belize. But it is just the beginning. Please help us to spread the message of peace and bring more and more people together in the movement.

Editing/post-production: 2,100. Music: 400. Publicity/distribution: 1,000. Kickstarter rewards and fees: 1,500.

Contact Jeremy with any questions: jeremy@photojeremy.com

More information on The Bishop's Walk for Peace:

St. Martin de Porres Parish, Belize City

An Epic Walk For a Profound Problem, Channel 7 News

Walk for Peace in Belize, Jesuits Missouri Province

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The main challenge of this project is striking a balance in the timeframe to completion. There is a sense of urgency to maintain the momentum of the peace movement in Belize. However, it is also important to ensure that the story is told as clearly and powerfully as possible, which will take deliberation, collaboration with other experienced individuals, and… time. While my team and I are committed to the completion of Peace Movement, the success of this Kickstarter campaign will help ensure a reasonable timeframe.

FAQ

  • The exact duration is yet to be determined, but we our working plan is for a 40 - 60 minute piece. The main focus is to use whatever length and arrangement of content works best to tell the story.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    Exclusive backer updates and sneak peeks, and a Thanks! email sent straight from the bottom of our heart.

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    The above, and a personal Thank You postcard that doubles as a notice of the release of Peace Movement.

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    2 backers

    All of the above, and the early bird digital download of Peace Movement.

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    2 backers

    All of the above, and a DVD copy of Peace Movement.

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    Add $5 USD to ship outside the US
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    7 backers

    All of the above, and a signed 6”x9” print of a photograph from the Walk (you choose from a gallery).

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    2 backers

    The first 4 rewards; and one print of any size up to 10”x15” of a photograph from the Walk (you choose from a gallery), OR a second copy of the DVD.

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    The first 4 rewards; your name in the credits; two prints of any size up to 10”x15” of photographs from the Walk (you choose from a gallery); and 1 additional copy of the DVD.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer

    The first 4 rewards; your name in the credits; three prints of any size up to 10”x15” of photographs from the Walk (you choose from a gallery); and up to 2 additional copies of the DVD.

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    The first 4 rewards; a credit as a top supporter; one print of any size up to 16”x24” of photographs from the Walk (you choose from a gallery); and up to 4 additional copies of the DVD.

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    The first 4 rewards; a credit as a top supporter; a private screening and presentation by Jeremy at your home/organization/event (to be arranged, travel not included); two prints of any size up to 16”x24” of photographs from the Walk (you choose from a gallery); and up to 6 additional copies of the DVD.

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    The first 4 rewards; a credit as an Associate Producer; a private screening and presentation by Jeremy at your home/organization/event (to be arranged, travel not included); three prints of any size up to 16”x24” of photographs from the Walk (you choose from a gallery); and up to 8 additional copies of the DVD.

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- (28 days)