ruminations on a series of unrelated events
Last spring I was introduced to Cynthia Prime of Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach. SOHO, which is based in Indianapolis, strives to help improve the lives of orphans in Swaziland whose parents have died of AIDS. Cynthia has been working to get a documentary about these orphans off the ground for several years. Through a documentary SOHO wants to build awareness of the plight of these children struggling to survive and raise their younger siblings. Equally important to the documentary is the hope they have despite living in such overwhelmingly adverse conditions. Shortly after we met, Cynthia asked me if I might be interested in directing and producing this hour-long documentary in collaboration with the local PBS station WFYI. Only a fool would say no to that.
In SOHO’s efforts to improve the quality of life for so many child-headed households, they have formed an international collaborative partnership with IUPUI’s International Studies Department. Through this partnership, nursing students have visited as part of a summer course and provided much needed healthcare. This spring IUPUI engineering students will travel to Swaziland to build a safe house which will provide a secure environment for orphans in danger of exploitation and physical harm.
If funding is secured for the first phase of the documentary, I will travel with a crew to Swaziland this holiday break. Two crews will shoot for 3 weeks. We will have already determined who our cameras will be following and we will attempt to show them in the normal course of their day as they seek to sustain themselves and their siblings. If everything goes according to plan we will return for 2 weeks in the summer to follow-up on the stories we introduced 6 months earlier. And at this time we will be able to visit a completed safe house and with any luck the IUPUI nursing students will be also be there.