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Director: Michael Collins
Winner of the BELIEF MATTERS AWARD
ABOUT THE FILM
Having personally witnessed the powerfully transformative work of The Art of Living Foundation youth programs in my local New York City area, I was excited to learn of the Foundation’s plan to launch their a Youth Leadership Training program in Haiti, and immediately volunteered my filmmaking services. For me documentary filmmaking always reflects a concern to share hopeful stories that inspire social change and I tend to be drawn to places where hope seems least expected, yet nevertheless exists. It was an honor to film Gerthy Lahens energetically addressing the devastating environmental, social and economic problems in her home country, after so many years away.
Since that time Gerthy has formed Project Renaissance Hope for Haiti, with the goal of creating self-sustaining off the grid communities outside of Port-au-Prince, each including housing for 1,000 people and an education center. She and her Boston based team travel to Haiti regularly, working hard to raise funds to break ground for their project, all the while launching proactive programs in teacher training, tree planting, and socially conscious architecture training while keeping a post earthquake educational radio station on air.
The Art of Living Foundation’s influence has meanwhile evolved into a permanent presence in Haiti as Nouvelle Vie Youth Corps, which offers training for youth in permaculture and sustainable community development. Together both groups inspire hope where it is needed most.
RELATED CATEGORIESeconomic justice, environment, family & society, international, Media That Matters 12,
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