Doco will focus on orphan work
Decade of caring celebrated
Queenstown-based Orphans Aid International will mark 10 years of caring for orphans, with the release of a third documentary at Easter.
Produced by award winning documentary maker Rob Harley, Finding Forever Families is a sequel to two documentaries made since the organisation started in Romania in 2004.
It would follow the stories of children, which had been told earlier, as well as cover work being done by the organisation now in Russia, India and Uganda.
A new development in northern India, where the organisation was given land to build a school, was also part of the tale.
‘‘This is an area where children do not currently have an opportunity to gain an education, so the impact will be absolutely life changing for them,’’ Harley, now a patron of the organisation, said.
Founder and chief executive Sue van Schreven said the organisation started helping six children in Romania.
‘‘Last year we were helping 700 kids. It’s growing all the time.’’
Despite funding from organisations, including the European Union, demands continued to increase.
‘‘We are sending approx NZ$38,000 to our orphanage projects each month for very basic running costs. With our dollar slipping and the growth of projects/numbers of children being cared for, and the costs of running the new school, we need to see this boosted to around $55,000 per month in the very near future.
‘‘We also have capital needs projects [on top of this] on the horizon, with the completion of the school and renovation of another building we purchased in Romania in 2011.’’
Sponsorships brought in less than $30,000 a month. So fundraising, shops in Hawke’s Bay, Dunedin, Invercargill and Queenstown, along with appeals, were vital to the organisation’s work, she said.
The work in India, including the slum areas of Kolkata and the new school on the Bhutanese border, was growing quickly.
‘‘It’s probably the most extreme as far as the rawness of it and hunger,
Orphans Aid International documentary FindingForeverFamilies
7.30am on Good Friday, April 3 and kids sleeping on the street.’’
In Kolkata many of the children lived in a half-built hospital and spent their days begging and searching for food in rubbish bins.
Orphans Aid workers and volunteers provided food, clothing and education where possible.
In Uganda the work was focused on caring for families and keeping children with their parents, as often children were placed in orphanages for a short period to help them survive.
However, the children could then by adopted or moved later.
At work: Kathryn Casey and Sue van Schreven filming in Northern India, not far from the site of the new Orphans Aid International school.
New school: Sue van Schreven breaks ground for a new Orphans Aid International school in Bhutan..
Together: Sue van Schreven and children from the Orphans Aid International school in Kolkata.