DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (WordNews.org) Nov. 28, 2012 — The CEO of Legacy Worldwide admits he wasn’t into a documentary project featuring Dikembe Mutombo, who was building the first modern hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“I went with the mindset that I was going to film the documentary, get in and get out,” said Damon Davis, who heads Legacy Worldwide, billed as the largest full service advertising, marketing and media-buying agency to ministries and non-profit organizations on the globe.
But something happened that changed him and the project.
“Instead, I found myself rolling up my sleeves and getting involved in a real life rescue,” Davis said. “There we were, filming a documentary on a hospital, spending all this money on production and we were surrounded by children who couldn’t afford medical care. If you want surgery, you have to bring your own medicine, your own scalpel and by the way, your own doctor.”
During filming, the Legacy Team encountered Jean Simone, an orphan at a local home for abandoned children who had been badly burned and crippled. His wounds were still open and he had been making brooms to make money to eat.
Davis recognized the extreme situation. Mutombo, the hospital builder, plainly stated, “This is why we are here.”
The result? Extreme Rescuer, which airs on Dec. 2. Extreme Rescuer is a docu-reality series capturing the rescue of children, premieres on television media outlets nationwide. Extreme Rescue preview
Davis said the vision for Extreme Rescuer was sparked while filming Mutombo featuring his hand in building the first modern hospital in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital.
Davis and his crew extended their stay and worked with Mutombo to identify a doctor and funded the child’s surgery. Jean Simone is now walking and living a normal life.
Following what the team now calls their first rescue was a pivotal meeting between Davis and Carlos Vargas, founder of Hope of Life in Guatemala, an organization that rescues more than 1,000 babies every year. Vargas explained that the cause is too great a feat and the government is doing everything they can but there are some extreme locations and situations that the Vargas can’t get to alone and would require help. Davis and his team felt called to the effort.
Davis assembled a team for the mission, calling them Extreme Rescuers and began a dual effort to deliver a force on the ground in Guatemala and develop a team back at home to drive it.
“We knew that Extreme Rescuer would be our first major campaign but needed a parent company for future projects with the same end goals,” said the initiative’s Marketing Coordinator, Brittani O’Donoghue. “This is when Love Universal was born. The company functions as an umbrella for continued humanitarian efforts.”
“No one is doing this,” said Davis. “I am the child of four generations of pastors but I am not called to preach. I am called to serve those who do — to help them expand and reach their goals, but every man must find his own purpose. I am fortunate enough to have time to allocate to my own passion. To get out into the field and fight for the babies who are unable to fight for themselves.”