A documentary film production company with a focus on the human rights of children
a music video set to jazz pianist Geri Allen’s Christmas CD, “A Child is Born.”
Moments of children along the roadside in rural Kenya receiving lollipops evokes the spirit of the season.
Wangari Muta Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya (Africa) in 1940. The first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate degree, Professor Maathai obtained a degree in Biological Sciences from Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas (1964). Professor Maathai was active in the National Council of Women of Kenya in 1976-87 and was its chairman from 1981-87. In 1976, while she was serving the National Council of Women, Professor Maathai introduced the idea of community-based tree planting. She continued to develop this idea into a broad-based grassroots organization whose main focus is poverty reduction and environmental conservation through tree planting.
Len Morris shot this interview with Dr. Wangari Maathai for the film Stolen Childhoods in 2003.
a look at hunger in the slums of the world, from India, to Africa, to the United States and Europe.
Nairobi street counsellor John Mbugua (Bravo) discusses why there are so many street children and street families and proposes registering street children so that they can be employed and have citizenship.
This excerpt from Stolen Childhoods examines the Global March Against Child Labor and the Brazilian cash transfer program, Bolsa Escola, which pays poor mothers a stipend to send their children to school.
Baby Ivy’s birth is celebrated in the village of Shivagala with her entire family present. Her hair is shaved to join her to the land of her ancestors.
Right now over 100 million children are raising themselves on the streets of this world. Orphaned by AIDS, abandoned, running from hunger or abuse, our most vulnerable world citizens are double victims of both extreme poverty and global indifference. In October and November of 2007, I was part of a documentary film crew on the [...]
Premiering at the United Nations Association Film Festival at Stanford University on Saturday, October 30th at 8:30pm in the Annenberg Auditorium
Setting out to make a film about street children across the globe, the filmmakers are hijacked by a filthy 13-year-old boy on the streets of Nairobi, Kenya. Belligerently stoned on shoe glue, Emmanuel grabs us. “I want to go to school right now!”. He is hungry. He tells of the death of his mother, his horrific life in Kibera, Nairobi’s most notorious slum, his escape to the streets. Undocumented, a nobody, he stinks, eats garbage, is raped “by the big boys,” is “swept” off the streets by police and sent to adult jail cells. Who will notice if this kid’s life is snuffed out? And ironically, his name, Emmanuel, means “God among us.”
After going to film in the slums and countryside to find the roots of why kids are pouring into the streets to raise themselves, we are haunted by Emmanuel. We find a grown man, “Bravo,” who raised himself on the street and he tells us, “It is hunger!” We take hidden cameras into clubs where little girls are selling their bodies “for a piece of chicken.” We visit a remarkable home where Mama Zipporah and her husband Isaac have taken in 150 abandoned children as their own, living on faith to feed the kids. We search for solutions, but are still haunted by Emmanuel. And when we return to Nairobi, he is nowhere to be found. Street boys tell us “he stole a TV. He is on the run.”
A search, a rescue, a home, a school . . . all follow, with unexpected results. Emmanuel is taken to a hospital to “dry out” from the glue he sniffs to “keep away the hunger.” He is cleaned (no small task.) He is clothed. He is taken to school. He walks into his dream . . . and yet the dream takes a turn . . . heartbreaking and yet, somehow, hopeful.
Why are 100 million children living on the streets of the world? Emmanuel’s story can teach us all.
We shot this interview with fifteen-year-old Clara on the streets of Mexico City. It took a lot of time and effort to track her down and get her to trust us enough to talk to us.
This is an original poem recited by Jemima Onganjo, a Kenyan student working to complete her secondary school studies at a rural school in Kenya where there is no running water, electricity, clean water source or sanitation facilities. This poem, straight from the heart and mind of this young woman, does more than any report to explain, “WHAT IS POVERTY?”
Excerpt from the child labor documentary STOLEN CHILDHOODS, featuring the Shiksha Yatra (Global March for Education) in India.
Thirteen-year-old Elenaide (not her real name) is serving a prison sentence for smuggling drugs in Campo Grande, Brazil.
Interviewer: Patricia Nascimento
49 year-old Joseph Onyango Siri is a widower raising seven children on less than a dollar a day. In this excerpt from the documentary film, The Same Heart, he describes his life to director Len Morris.
Several years ago, during the editing of a documentary on child labor, I screened an interview with a 19-year-old girl, Cristina. She had been working as a nanny in various wealthy families in Salvador since the age of fourteen. The interview was in Portuguese, and I was lining up the English translation track to the [...]
Nineteen-year-old Cristina talks about working as a nanny for various wealthy families in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil since the age of fourteen.
The interviewer is Patricia Nascimento.
Len Morris interviewed philosopher and ethicist Peter Singer in July 2007. Singer discusses poverty and the moral obligations of wealthy countries. Peter Singer is the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University and Laureate Professor at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne. He has focused particularly on animal rights and world poverty in his work.
This interview was recorded in 2007. For an updated account of Peter Singer’s views on world poverty, we recommend his recent book, The Life You Can Save: Acting Now to End World Poverty. You may also visit the related website, www.thelifeyoucansave.com
Philosopher Peter Singer tells the story of the drowning child and poses an ethical dilemma as food for thought.
Excerpt from Rescuing Emmanuel: undocumented children imprisoned with adults in Nairobi jails for offenses like vagrancy, begging and general annoyance. This footage was shot with a hidden camera.
When the filmmakers filmed a group of street children in Nairobi, Kenya, one boy latched on to them and wouldn’t let go. He is Emmanuel. He is thirteen years old, and he wants to go to school. He has no papers, no official existence. He is invisible.
Bishop Desmond Tutu was born in 1931 in Klerksdorp, Transvaal. From 1967 to 1972 he taught theology in South Africa before returning to England for three years as the assistant director of a theological institute in London. In 1975 he was appointed Dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg, the first black to hold that position. From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho, and in 1978 became the first black General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches.
This interview was shot in 2008.
This is an excerpt from the documentary feature, STOLEN CHILDHOODS, that deals with child labor in the onion fields of Texas. Most Americans are unaware of the fact that our food is often picked by children who are exposed to the hazards of pesticide poisoning, injury and exhausting work without limit. There is presently no federal law protecting children who work in American agriculture. This is a blatant violation of United Nations Resolution 182- which the U.S. has signed. Look at this segment to understand what it means to have your education disrupted, to leave on short notice to work and help your family make ends meet. Yes, we have child labor in America.
These are the testimonies of young women who took their chances in the city, rather than remain at home doing domestic labor. Many of these stories are typical of internal trafficking, where a young woman or man is promised a job or a chance to go to school, only to discover that they have to support themselves by selling their bodies in clubs or on the street.
In the stone quarries of Orissa, India, young women work from dawn to dark. These are modern slaves who must pay off debts incurred by their families. Their work is the collateral for the loan. More often than not, they will work away their youth only to be discarded the minute they’re injured or unable to continue. This is an excerpt from STOLEN CHILDHOODS.