Doco will fo­cus on or­phan work

Decade of car­ing cel­e­brated

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By DEB­BIE JAMIESON

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

TV One

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.

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