Social media star and charity films show what life is like for horses in brick kilns

  • Viewers can experience what life is like inside a Pakistan brick kiln for working animals and their owners as charity Brooke releases virtual reality footage on YouTube.

    Brooke youth ambassador and YouTube star This Esme has also released her own 360 degree video on her channel this week, which includes an edit of the footage shot at the kiln — one of the most extreme working environments on Earth.

    “I’m really pleased to have the opportunity to take my viewers on a journey through a real-life brick kiln in Pakistan, via the wonders of 360 technology. The harsh conditions facing working animals in settings like this are unimaginable, especially when I compare their lives with those of my own animals,” said Esme, who starts her 360 virtual reality (VR) video with footage of day-to-day life at her own yard.

    “Having visited Brooke’s work in Senegal last year, I was able to see the amazing progress that’s being made in bringing about positive change for working animals and their owners and can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

    Brooke’s film was made in July 2018 and features brick kiln worker Waqas, his wife Tayyba, baby daughter Sania Fatima and nine-year-old stallion Raju. They are one of 50 families employed to produce 45,000-50,000 bricks per day at this site.

    Their livelihood depends entirely on their horse and the film follows them as they work to meet their targets while trying to keep Raju hydrated and not overload him.

    The footage has already been screened at a string of high profile events including the World Equestrian Games, Olympia and the charity’s own supporter day but this is the first time it has been made available to the public.

    Brooke is currently working actively in 8,483 of South Asia’s 152,700 brick kilns, helping to improve conditions for workers and their horses.

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    The kilns employ more than 16million people and 500,000 animals and produce more than a fifth (21%) of the world’s bricks.

    The charity takes a “one health” approach which recognises that the well-being of workers, their animals and environmental health are all linked.

    In Pakistan, it is currently working with the government and the Brick Kiln Association to plant trees on site to address pollution and land degradation. These trees include fruit and shade species and will not only reduce carbon footprints, but also provide shelter for working animals.

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