WAR/DANCE SCREENING AMREF Canada and Athletes for Africa/GuluWalk sponsor a special screening of the Hot Docs and Sundance fave War/Dance, about school children in war-torn Uganda. Today (Thursday, November 8), 6:30 pm. $10, students $5. Bloor Cinema, 506 Bloor West. 416-686-1533, 416-516-2330. Rating: NNNNN
What is the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF)?
We're the world's leading African health development organization. Our goal is to develop long-lasting and sustainable solutions to critical health challenges facing the African continent. We are the only organization of our kind, and 2007 marks our 50th year.
How does AMREF do what it does?
Instead of delivering aid or handouts, we take a community-based health approach. We do things like empower vulnerable communities to take control of their own health. For example, by teaching young children simple hygiene practices like hand-washing, we help them avoid illnesses like diarrhea, which claims the lives of thousands of African children every day. Now our hygiene program is mandated as part of the primary school curriculum across Kenya.
What is War/Dance?
War/Dance was a hit at Hot Docs this spring, winning the Audience Choice Award. It's a documentary about three children and their class in a village in northern Uganda. These kids have lost their families, their homes and their hope for a stable future amid the 21-year civil war. The film documents their transformation as they prepare to participate in a national dance festival.
What do you want people to take away from this screening?
Hope. We want to shed light on the situation in northern Uganda - the civil war is one of the world's forgotten crises - but we want to show that there is so much hope. If there is one thing that we want to do, it's to create a feeling of solidarity with these children, and to inspire not only hope but also positive action.