Serve the City, a grassroots social justice movement based in Brussels, Belgium, wanted to raise awareness and the visibility of their organization, as well as to motivate people to get involved. Our goal was to cause the movement to spread into new countries, and volunteerism to grow, as people saw and embraced the essence of the movement.
To achieve these goals, we developed a non-scripted episodic program consisting of six 30-min broadcast episodes to show the power of the movement, and the wide range of volunteers that participate. To show the global scale of the movement, our team filmed for a month in Europe as well as a month in Russia, following a group of international volunteers as they participated in Serve the City.
We cast the volunteers from a wide variety of backgrounds (EU personnel, lawyers, students, etc.), and told the Serve the City story through the eyes of the volunteers.
Telling the story in this way highlighted the stories not only in those who were being helped in refugee camps, orphanages and homeless shelters, but revealed the change in the volunteers themselves.
The series was picked up by Participant Media’s Pivot TV, a network focusing on social good that reaches 50 million households in the U.S. It continues to air regularly. The series was also selected for international distribution, further raising the profile of the Serve the City movement. As a result, Serve the City is now present in 50 countries, with a goal to be in 100 countries by 2015. Furthermore, as a result of an increased awareness, Serve the City has recently been recognized with an Active Citizens of Europe 2011 award- the award is given annually to outstanding volunteering NGOs and individuals in Europe.