FIELDCRAFT STUDIOS | Live from Sierra Leone and Brighton with children’s laureate Chris Riddell


Live from Sierra Leone and Brighton with children’s laureate Chris Riddell


Storytelling connecting Sierra Leone and the UK using WhatsApp

#DrawingBreath a multi-platform engagement and fundraising campaign.

VSO (Voluntary Services Overseas) asked us to create a digital and traditional media campaign to raise funds for their work in Sierra Leone.

In particular VSO wanted to focus on health worker Andrew Sesay and his life saving work with mums and babies.

We wanted to tell the story in a way that would enable the audience to walk in Andrew’s shoes. To bring the frontline of health care in Sierra Leone directly into the audience’s front room in a way that would capture their attention and imagination.

We created a concept called #DrawingBreath and recruited children’s laureate and award-winning illustrator Chris Riddell to front the campaign.

Drawing the story with Chris Riddell


Our concept united artists from pencil to paper (and everything wonderful in-between) to create and spread stories about real people making real change in Sierra Leone. People like Andrew.

We created content with Chris Riddell and we also invited online creators (influencers) community to make content too.

In addition we produced a live Facebook event desiged to enagage an audience and generate media coverage.

Our media covered included BBC news and the Independent newspaper.

Your live broadcast was utterly fantastic.

Lucy Grey, social media editor, The Independent newspaper – our media partner

Content that commands attention

Fieldcraft Studios created two short time-lapse films with Chris Riddell drawing Andrew’s story and a story about the reality of giving birth in Sierra Leone.

Both films depict dramatic, true-life events from Sierra Leone.

Drawing the news: Andrew’s work drawn by Chris Riddell
Draw the news: the reality of giving birth in Sierra Leone – drawn by Chris Riddell

Influencer Activty

We created an influencer outreach campaign where artists created paintings, illustrations and gifs bringing to life the stories of Andrew and Dr Padma, the VSO volunteer doctor.

One of the amazing images created as part of our influencer activity. Image by Aneta Fontner.

The LIVE event

The grand finale of the campaign was a unique remote reportage LIVE event where we connected Binkola, Sierra Leone with the UK.

Using a mobile phone and What’s App, we created an event where VSO trained health Officer Andrew Sesay, 24, shared his life-saving work in real-time from Binkola, Sierra Leone. llustrator Chris Riddell then drew his story – LIVE – in his studio in Brighton.

Phone and internet connection can be very difficult in rural Sierra Leone, but WhatsApp is often more reliable.

With no budget to send Fieldcraft Studios physically to the field to produce a live event with Andrew we came up with this innovative solution: Andrew would use WhatsApp to send us photographs while he worked in a clinic for mums and babies.

We would be with Chris in his studio in Brighton receiving those WhatsApp photographs. Chris then drew Andrew’s story in real time.

We secured The Independent newspaper as the media partner for the live broadcast and they hosted it on their Indy100 Facebook page.

The event was designed to create both public engagement and media coverage.

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