This compelling documentary was produced by award winning producer David Perry. David has won several awards for this specific film, including the Pegasus Award, DV Award, and the UPVA Award.
The documentary begins with the very emotional story of Luis, Amelia, and Afonso, three AIDS orphan siblings who watched first their father, then their mother and then their older brother die from AIDS. They were abandoned by relatives and lived on their own for some time in an unfinished house without a roof and then were put in an orphanage. They are featured in the documentary to put a human face to the orphan crisis and the plight of HIV/AIDS orphans in developing countries.
The documentary features Dr. Jini L. Roby, internationally renowned expert on orphan issues, who describes the worldwide orphan crisis and challenges the world to come together to provide solutions for vulnerable children. Dr. Roby provides expert commentary on the outcomes for orphans who are institutionalized. Several orphans from around the world then share their orphanage experiences. UNICEF’s position statement on inter-country adoption is stated in the film, and Dr. Roby expounds that the best situation for orphans is with their extended family members. If, for any of numerous reasons, that is not possible then the next best option would be with an adoptive family in a child’s country of origin. And if that is not possible, then inter-country adoption can be explored as an option.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child is quoted in the film, where it states that a child should grow up in a family environment in an atmosphere of happiness and love and the stories are told of various orphans who have been fortunate enough to have been placed with loving families. Dr. Roby explores issues of health, safety and education for orphans and addresses research and studies that show that children fare best in a family environment. She also addresses the research with regard to trans-racial adoption. Throughout the documentary, government officials from Mozambique provide their own commentary regarding their experiences at an intercultural exchange on orphan issues and adoption held in the U.S. The documentary ends with a plea for the global community to come together to address the orphan crisis and for countries to consider adoption as a solution for some children.
A personal note by Sharon Slater about David Perry. When I first wrote about orphan issues David responded by offering his services to help raise awareness on the plight of the world's orphans. He has traveled with me through Africa and spent countless hours filming abroad and in the US. Most recently, he volunteered to film our premire of this documentary at its premier at this UN. David has won numerous awards for his work including several for this documentary. He has been a pleasure to work with and a huge blessing to our "Families for Orphans" project.