Rebuilding Afghanistan


Brent Cannon

I hope you have had a chance to watch some of our Moving Pictures reports. They are each unique and each tells a very interesting story. I did one about a Bay Area man named Budd Mackenzie and the work he is doing to help a village in Afghanistan. I met Budd about a year and a half ago when he was a guest on our 10am newscast. There was so much to his story and his efforts that we could not cover it all in that one segment. A few months ago, we were all asked to submit the names of people to whom we would want to give a camera in order for them to tell a story. I immediately thought of Budd. We gave him a camera and he got us great stories from the village of Lalander. Each picture told a story. Once again – there was more than we could cover. So, this time we focused on how Bay Area students are helping to make a CD to help kids in the village learn about English, and how Bay Area students are communicating with the kids in Afghanistan through drawings – since there is a language barrier. In my “Rebuilding Afghanistan” story, we focused on how Budd and the people involved in his project helped open a school. How kids are learning. How girls are being allowed to attend class. Under Taliban rule, girls who go to school can be killed. But the people in Lalander believe so much in educating girls that the people of the village have taken up arms (see picture) to guard the school and make sure nobody hurts the kids. We also touched on how women now have a bigger voice. We got pictures and video of them – which is significant because women are often not allowed to be photographed. Budd says he was overwhelmed when he started. He has had to learn a little about Afghan culture and how their leadership works. He has had to learn about water supplies, farming, education, medicine and a variety of topics he never imagined he’d be involved with. Budd is an amazing man doing amazing work. His story is so compelling and his effort so noble, I am sure we have not heard the last of him. I hope to be able to share many more of his stories and inform more and more people about his work and the difference it makes, and how others in the Bay Area can get involved.

Brent Cannon
NBC11 Anchor

Watch Brent’s Moving Pictures story by clicking here.


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