Documentary Film “Umuryango” Tells Plight of Rwanda Street Children

6 Oct

The 1994 Rwanda genocide left thousands of children as victims and orphans.

This is a documentary about the ones left behind.

My dear friend, Amanda Ibrahim, has been working her little keister off the past year on Umuryango while going to college, completing an internship, and accomplishing many other things too numerous to list.  I first met Amanda when she was a junior in high school and even then, her spunk, vision, and ability to get things done surpassed someone of her age and experience.  Truth be told, though she is young, Amanda is someone who I admire, not only for her amazing artistic creations (vocally and visually), but her unwavering faith in God.  It is with great pleasure I pass this press release on to you.  I hope to see many of you at this Friday’s local premiere of “Umuryango.”

The First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, PA will host a screening of “Umuryango”, a documentary film about the plight of Rwandan street children produced by Lehigh Valley native Amanda Ibrahim, who is completing her senior year at Drexel University.

“Umuryango,” a half-hour long documentary, spotlights the work of Umuryango Children’s Network, a Rwandan charity founded by two Rwandan brothers, Yohani Kayinamura and Jean Paul Ntabanganyimana. The brothers watched horrified as their country was caught in a tide of escalating ethnic violence in 1994 that left an estimated one million Rwandans dead. But while the death toll is shocking, the true victims of the Rwandan genocide continue to be the more than 95,000 children left homeless and orphaned – and the number of street children continues to grow today.

Yohani and Jean Paul were moved by the extreme need they encountered everywhere in their country. Seeing the need to revive the country and restore sound leadership in Rwanda, they determined to invest in future of their country represented in the next generation of children. They founded a home to minister to street children with food, shelter, clothing and education, but more importantly to enable the children to form relationships of trust and love in order to grow into compassionate and caring adults.

In describing her work on the documentary, Ibrahim says, “I was privileged to see first-hand the terrible struggles and the boundless joy of these precious street children who have been given a second chance through Umuryango Children’s Network. I tried to tell their story as truthfully as possible, so that we who have been given so much just by living in America can be challenged and inspired to look beyond ourselves and see where we can make a real difference in the world.”

The film will be shown Friday, October 9, 8 PM at the Kirk Center of The First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem located at 2344 Center St, Bethlehem, PA. Admission is free, though good-will offerings will be gratefully accepted. “Umuryango” is a production of non-profit Ferasha Films.  The screening will include a photo and art gallery, inspired by the children of Umuryango, plus a Q&A session with one of the founders of Umaryango, Yohani Kayinamura.

For more information, visit fershafilms.com.

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No Responses to “Documentary Film “Umuryango” Tells Plight of Rwanda Street Children”

  1. Derek McCrea October 7, 2009 at 8:21 AM #

    There can never be enough work done in this area. I am a watercolor artist and have donated 3 works this month to charitable cause, if only everyone who can give a little would, the world would be a much better place, but we also need the government’s focus on these issues.

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