Saturday, January 19, 2008

Giving children a chance

To Touch the Soul is a documentary that follows the experiences of educator Carlos Silveira and several California State University students who traveled to Cambodia in 2005 to create art projects with children living with HIV/AIDS. It highlights the emotional ties that Silveira and the students make with the children as they discover a wealth of talented and loving kids. It also shares a message of hope for the future that Cambodian students will replicate what the American students have done and take a lead in educating and caring for their own kind. The 70-minute documentary focuses on two NGOs called Little Sprouts and Little Folks, where the children are either HIV-positive or orphaned by AIDS. It's full to brimming with the unconditional love and affection that Cambodian kids are renowned for, the courage of a child like Seima who has plans to run his own school but may never live long enough to achieve his goal, and the dedication of people like John Tucker, who has worked tirelessly for the last seven years in making a difference to the lives of children living with and affected by HIV. The Meta House showing tonight was well-attended and included Silveira, Tucker and director Ryan Goble, who were on-hand to answer questions after the screening. The documentary will get its first international film festival showing in Australia very soon and fingers-crossed, someone like PBS will pick it up and show it across the United States. Despite their situation, the film illustrates that children living with HIV can flourish given the opportunity and that message of hope is a beacon in the lives of those suffering with the disease.

To Touch The Soul director Ryan Goble (left) and your blogging correspondent

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