From Belgium To Rwanda

smiling

Into Rwanda..

April 2014

Happy spring! The time has truly flown by since January, and has been full of blessings to share.  Here’s what’s happened so far: after wrapping up filming in Eastern Europe we headed west, to Belgium and England, followed by a big leap to Kigali, Rwanda. With your help and support, we were able to capture the vision of those blazing the way for reformed orphan care in Europe, and now in Rwanda we’re developing stories that involve the government, orphanages, genocide orphans, and street teens.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visiting the European Parliament to speak with experts on the vulnerability of children.
  • Interviewing Georgette Mulheir: CEO of Lumos (J.K. Rowling’s orphan network), and speaker for the widely acclaimed TED Talk “The Tragedy of Orphanages”
  • Working with Mary Kamanzi, a Christian leader of the newly embarked deinstitutionalization movement in Rwanda.
  •  Meeting with genocide orphans such as D’Amour, who after losing both parents went on to university and graduated this past week with a degree in Civil Engineering. D’Amour now wants to speak to child orphans to encourage them toward their brightest future.

DIVING DEEPER

The latest buzzword for international orphan care is “DI” or “deinstitutionalization”  It essentially means closing orphanages and placing children into families. We first encountered this movement in Moldova, and now again in Rwanda.  Orphans we interviewed consistently said that they want to be in a family. The problem, however, is time. As new laws come into effect for family placement, some countries are racing to boast the highest number of orphanages closed in the shortest amount of time. But in a number of instances, kids end up on the streets, or without access to education. All this to say, we are brought back to the humble reminder that orphans are individuals, with individual needs, and they require time to explore the absolute best option for their placement in a family.

THE TEAM’S TAKE

“I love working with the street teens and using the camera to capture their beauty and hardship. Eating where they eat, sleeping where they sleep, sitting in the dust together laughing…there’s nothing like it.”

-Casey Walker (USA)

“I love the joy on a child’s face when their foster or adoptive parent speaks highly of them.”

-Kirk Wong (Canada)

WHAT’S NEXT

For the next couple months our team will be filming in East Africa: namely Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. We will be studying the ‘D.I” movement, as well as meeting with members of government, directors of orphanages, and families participating in foster care and adoption. A large part of our focus will also be placed on following the lives of children and teens to uncover what life looks like for the modern-day orphan.

PRAYER REQUESTS

Thank you for your prayers, here are some specific needs of the team:·

  • April 7th our team will be filming the 20th memorial of the Rwandan genocide: prayers for favor with the positions we take for our shots
  • Finances to cover our housing, food, equipment and travel·
  • Physical health and protection from malaria or other diseases in our area.
  • Open doors to film heads of government

PRACTICAL NEEDS

As we continue to travel and capture stories, one of our largest expenses is hard drives! If you would like to donate towards them, that would be a huge blessing.

Posted on April 12, 2014 in On The Road Update

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