KMOX Interview w/Total Information

Check out this interview from KMOX's Total Information show we did on August 6,2010.

KTRS Interview with McGraw Milhaven (8/5/2010)

Great interview where we updated McGraw and the KTRS listeners about the Pepsi Refresh Competition ( and the progress of Give A Damn? Give her a listen.

Every interview offer something special because new questions by the host always lead to us sharing new insights from our journey to Africa trying to experience extreme poverty.

Waiting and Watching in Africa - A Post from David Peterka

To everyone supporting "Give a Damn?"

     As some of you may know there was a drastic accident that took place yesterday involving Dan Parris and Rob Lehr.  They were taking aerial photographs of Kibera, one of the worlds largest slums, when the plane stalled.  The pilot manages to glide the craft just outside of the slum's perimeter most likely saving at the least hundreds of lives.  The only casualty other than inside of the plane was a 11 year old girl who saw the whole thing and is struggling through post traumatic stress.
     First the wing of the plane struck a telephone pole redirecting it from the street they were trying to land on.  This caused it to smash into the side of a three story apartment building.  Then throughout the 30 meter fall to the ground the plane flipped upside down and instantly caught on fire.  The doors happen to be off since they were both filming and if they had been on Rob says they would not have made it out alive.  Rob was able to escape the plane and though bleeding servery from the head, gained his composure.  When he realized Dan was unconscious and still in the plane he went back for him.  Dan regained conciseness, saw flames right beside his head and with all that he had left, crawled out of the plane.  When Rob made sure he was safely out he did what only a hero would do, went back for one of the two pilots.  The closer of the two was still strapped in and hanging upside down.  He was also unconscious and at that moment Rob saw and image that will be with him for the rest of his life.  There was blood streaming down his head and one side of his face had caught fire.  Reaching across the man's body, Rob managed to undo his seat belt just as his arm and pant leg caught fire.  At that moment the 1st local man on the seen grabbed both him and Dan and helped them into a car headed for the hospital.  As it sped on the wrong side of the road with it's horn blaring the duration of the ride for Dan and Rob the ride to the hospital was nearly as thrilling as the crash. 
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Surviving the Plane Crash in Kenya: Give A Damn? Rob Lehr Shares His Experience

On the morning of August 1, 2009 Rob Lehr and Dan Parris went up in a single engine plane to film the Kibera slums near Nairobi, Kenya for their poverty documentary Give A Damn?. Within moments the flight turned tragic as the plane hit an electric telephone pole spinning to smash into a building before crashing three stories to the ground. Of the four passengers, Lehr, Parris, the pilot Frank and flight engineer Ryan, Lehr was the only one conscious. His actions and those of by-standers changed the course of history for himself, Parris, and the flight engineer Ryan. The plane exploded approximately five minutes after the three where safely away. Sadly the pilot Frank died on impact. Lehr gave his account from the Nairobi hospital just five hours after the crash while being treated for wounds and burns.

Give A Damn? Plane Crash Info and Video Link

Plane Crash in Kenya Narrowly Survived by Local Filmmakers

Give A Damn? poverty documentary filmmakers survive plan crash  in Nairobi, Kenya, with critical injuries, plane engineer fighting for life pilot died on impact

Plane crash survived by Dan Parris and Rob Lehr of Speak Up Productions International.
Photo: William Oeri

St. Louis suburbanite filmmakers Dan Parris, 25, Manchester, Missouri, USA; Rob Lehr, 26, Ballwin, Missouri, USA; David Peterka, 25, Manchester, Missouri, USA;  cameraman Tim Peterka 30, Kirkwood, Missouri, USA;  of Speak Up International and flight engineer Ryan and pilot Frank Nairobi, Kenya.

What and When:
 At approximately 3 p.m. August 1, 2009 Nairobi, Kenya time (7 a.m. St. Louis) a single engine plane carrying Give A Damn? poverty documentary filmmakers Dan Parris and Rob Lehr struck an electrical transmission pole spinning the plane around to crash into a building before falling an estimated three-stories to a crash landing in Nyayo Highrise Estate, Nairobi, Kenya.  Lehr narrowly escaped, freeing Parris, and flight engineer Ryan before the plane burst into flames.  The pilot was killed on impact. Parris and Lehr were rushed to Nairobi hospital with critical injuries and are currently recovering in hospital.  The flight engineer was also rushed to the hospital with potentially fatal injuries. The filmmakers contracted the plane to gain aerial footage of Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, for the Give A Damn? documentary film they are in the process of making.  Fellow film crew members David and Tim Peterka stayed behind when they learned the plane only had room for two passengers.

mobile phone footage of the crash
Lehr sustained cuts and brushes from the crash. Lehr also sustained serve burns while pulling an unconscious Parris from the wreckage and freeing the flight engineer from his seat belt. A by-stander pulled Lehr and the flight engineer from the wreckage only minutes before the plane exploded. Parris is under going tests with a presumed broken collar bone and potentially broken hip.

All of the Give A Damn? film equipment, save one small handheld camera and footage previously sent back to the U.S., was destroyed in the plane explosion.  Regardless the crew is planning to press on with their mission in the ways they can. Lehr plans to stay at the Nairobi Hospital with Parris for the next few days until the two can return home to St. Louis, Missouri, once Parris is stable enough to travel.The Peterka bothers are tending to their friends first and contemplating staying on in Africa to continue the filming  work.  Throughout this harrowing experience each continued to talk about the goal of the film to expose extreme poverty, its causes and why we should all give a damn.

Live interviews with Lehr, Parris and Tim Peterka after the crash
were recorded and will be available to listen to on their blog site later today (August 1, 2009). We are working to secure the additional footage of the crash and additional pictures – this and additional information will be posted here as it is available.

Why:  The Give A Damn? documentary team began their journey under the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri on July 4th, 2009. After spending the night with St. Louis homeless the crew began hitchhiking to Africa, voluntarily, to film and experience poverty living on a $1.25 a day. They successfully hitchhiked across America to New York City, flew to London, England taking a ferry to mainland Europe. The crew hitchhiked across Europe jumped a ferry to Cairo, Egypt, and flew to Kenya. Once in Kenya the team planned to hitchhike through East Africa with stops in Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The mission is to live in extreme poverty in the U.S., Europe and Africa connecting the experience of poverty worlds apart through travel.  The trip was expected to take four months.

The journey to date and all updates are available on the Give A Damn? blog as well as Twitter.
mobile phone footage of the crash: 

Donations to help the families of the pilot and flight engineer, defray emergency costs for the Give A Damn? crew and continue the filmmaking can be sent to:
Speak Up International 501 c
909 Danton Ct.
Manchester, Missouri, USA 63011

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"Action over Apathy": Benefit Dinner for Give A Damn?, 5-7pm April 29 at Biola U

On April 29th, we are having a benefit dinner for Give A Damn? to help raise the remaining money we need for our trip. We are planning on leaving from St. Louis July 4th, and we still have about $5000 to raise before we can go.

Rachel Sparks, founder of The SOLD Project and a represenative of Falling Whistles are our featured speakers. Please join us if you are interested. RSVP to or at

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