Ruom Collective


In May 2016, Thomas Cristofoletti had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica on assignment for USAID to tell the story of Ruben, a former notorious gangster from the infamous Canterbury neighborhood of Montego Bay. 

Today he works as a violence interrupter – preventing shootings and homicides in his community through a program supported by the Government of Jamaica. “Kids look up to me,” he says. “Because first I was part of the problem, now I’m the solution.”

Date: 2017 · Country: Maldives, Samoa & Tonga · Video / Photos: Nicolas Axelrod · Client: UNDP Asia Pacific

Nicolas Axelrod worked with fellow videographer Florian Witulski with UNDP, documenting tsunami evacuation drills in the Maldives, Tonga and Samoa. UNDP is working in 18 Asia Pacific countries, organising 90 school drills to strengthen tsunami preparedness. UNDP is partnering with the government of Japan to assist schools to develop their emergency management plans, organize tsunami education and conduct evacuation drills.

Samoan students have vivid memories of the 2009 tsunami that claimed lives of family members, and wiped away entire villages. Samoa is located on the seismically active "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific Ocean, where most of the world's tsunamis began.
A little-known attraction in Tonga is the Rock of Kala'au, a coral boulder that scientists believe is evidence from the most powerful volcano-triggered tsunami found to date. The 'tsunami rock' is a reminder of the risk that the population faces from the ocean, especially as most live in low-lying coastal areas.
Until the 2004 tsunami, people in the Maldives did not know what a Tsunami was. Lying barely one metre above sea level and having no higher ground or inland to run to, tsunami response in the Maldives is unlike anywhere else. Identifying safe buildings in an island can offer a solution.