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Smile Pinki – Dec. 8, 2010

In the season of giving, Awareness Film Night will be presenting December’s moviegoers with a chance to learn about and make a meaningful difference in the lives of children in Ethiopia who require corrective surgery for birth defects and accidental deformities. On December 8th there will be a screening of the Oscar-winning short documentary “Smile Pinki”. This is the story of a 5 year old girl and an 11 year old boy in India, both born with cleft lips and palates, whose lives are changed forever when they undergo a simple 45 minute operation made possible by a non-profit organization. In cinema verite tradition, this beautifully made 40 minute film concisely tells the story of the 2 childrens’ journeys from rejection and pain to a truly new life.

The evening will be a benefit for long-time Sooke resident Hum (Eric Anderson) who has been volunteering with a small non-profit group that is doing the same service in remote Ethiopian villages. Hum will be presenting a slide show and talk showing the work and the children he has been helping over the years during his annual 1 month sojourn to Ethiopia (on his own dime). His task has been to get himself to often very remote villages and seek out and gather up children with cleft lips, club feet or other birth defects or physical deformities caused by accidents and arrange for them to have surgeries in Addis Ababa. Here is an excerpt from the International Children’s Outreach Network newsletter: “Hum arived in Galela on market day and locals from miles around had gathered to buy, sell and visit. He made it known that we were interested in finding kids with birth defects, burns, etc. It appeared that most of the locals had never seen a doctor. Not only did he locate 15 new cleft lip cases, but there were numerous polio cases, many cases of goiter and various other maladies.” The hospital time and surgeon fees are donated, but transportation costs and food and lodging after the surgeries are expenses that are born by donations from people in more fortunate countries. Hum will be headed to Africa in January and Awareness Film Night is hoping we can add some checks, big or small, from the people of Sooke to his suitcase. Showtime is at 7 p.m. in the Edward Milne Community School theatre. Admission is by donation.



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