Documentary highlights efforts to help African children

Local News

On Saturday the public will get a chance to see a half-hour documentary which shows how a Fort Wayne organization is helping children in Africa who are suffering from potentially life-threatening medical issues. 

“The Promise” is the work of Adam Widener, Assistant Professor of Broadcast Media/Digital Media Arts at Huntington University.

It explores the journey of two African kids brought to northeast Indiana for medical treatment before being sent back home.

One of the children, Joël, who is eight, fell off his bike, broke his kneecap, and lived with it untreated for two years. He couldn’t walk and had to quit school. 

The other child, Vanessa, had such severe swelling of blood in her lips, the Ugandan girl could have bled to death with the smallest cut.  Doctors in her region would not treat her because they thought she and her family were cursed. 

According to Widener, seemingly random events connect these children to a Fort Wayne-based organization.

The kids fly across the world to be treated by American doctors and host families who sacrifice time, money, and talent — all in the hopes of healing these third-world children. 

After a year in America, Vanessa heads home to Uganda while American surgeons question if they can save Joël’s leg. But the constant struggle for the American host families is knowing they have to give the kids back to their African families — which brings revelations of culture, community, and what is truly best for the kids.

The public viewing of the documentary will take place Saturday, February 16 at 7:00 p.m. at Pathway Community Church located at 11910 Shearwater Run in Fort Wayne. 

The viewing will last about an hour with a 20-30 minute question and answer session scheduled afterwards.  

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