Variable Labs is a partner of the United Nations Virtual Reality initiative, an immersive media series attempting to put a human face on some of the most grave humanitarian crises affecting our world today. The VR films transform humanitarian crises into first-person experiences to raise awareness, foster empathy, and create lasting change in the world.

“Beyond the Lake” brings viewers into the life of Nahiman Faynez, a 31 year old women who fled civil war in Burundi and now lives as a refugee in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Faynez left her home, escaping with her children, crossing borders and fleeing violence only to find refuge in an area where 80-90% of the women have been victims of sexual violence. 

"Beyond the Lake” was shot at the Lucinda Refugee Camp (DRC) in 2016 on the edge of Lake Tanganyika and is a great example of how immersive VR can be used to deepen understanding and inspire action. The film premiered for global leaders at the World Humanitarian Summit and was featured in the VR collection at the Sheffield Doc Fest in the UK.

The film was created by Gabo Arora, Barry Pousman and the Variable Labs team.