Yesterday I saw excerpts from a documentary on Malawi. The haunting images are still with me...
A mother with a young girl sitting on the ground. She is skeletal, as is the child. She needs medical attention, but the services are hours away and she has no money to get there. She gets a ride on the back of a bicycle, but must stop and sit again on the side of the road. She does not have the strength to hang onto the bicycle. She is 75lbs. Later when she does arrive, she is diagnosed with HIV. She is dead 4 months later. The child, one of more than a million orphans.
A young boy talking about how he misses his parents. The love from his mother. All the things that his father would have taught him. How no one cares if he attends school, but his parents would have cared. He is wearing a torn shirt. One sleeve is missing entirely, the other cut off. He is grateful for clothes that we throw out. Every day.
66% of the population in Malawi exist on less than $1 a day. Child mortality is 103/1,000.
We've got to do something.
I am because we are. A documentary.
The title is from Desmond Tutu’s (famous Archbishop from Cape Town, South Africa) words. “Ubuntu” is an idea present in African spirituality that says “I am because we are” - or we are all connected, we cannot be ourselves without community, health and faith are always lived out among others, an individual’s well being is caught up in the well being of others.
Directed by Nathan Rissan. Produced by Madonna. Due out in 2008.
For information on how you can help, please go to Raising Malawi.