The Same Heart – Director’s Statement

 

THE SAME HEART means, “Sharing the same path, purpose and unity of action, having the same spirit.”

I’ve often heard the phrase spoken by a young community organizer we’ve worked with, Geoffrey Bakhuya. Raised in rural poverty, Geoffrey has seen first-hand the efforts by governments and NGO’s to help Kenyans help themselves. To Geoffrey, the same heart has little to do with money.

“We should be our brother’s keeper, everyone from Kenya and beyond should have the same heart to fight poverty the same heart to help children who are in need of care and protection. So when you come together, the common enemy is poverty. It’s like rainwater, it collects in small streams until it becomes like a big river. There’s power in numbers.”

This is a film about children and poverty. We began THE SAME HEART five years ago as an attempt to make sense of what we’ve seen and experienced making our previous films on child labor and street children. In 1990, the global community came together in an extraordinary moment to set eight Millennium Development Goals: to end poverty, hunger, fight disease, protect the earth, promote gender equality and create a more equitable planet. Pledges of funding were made, programs initiated, and funds spent to achieve the goals by 2015.

There has been real progress. Poverty has been cut in half, mostly as a result of economic growth in Asia, polio has all but been eradicated, malaria and TB reduced. Deaths from HIV have declined, child mortality is down and millions of children have gone to school for the first time. The world has seen what’s possible.

Yet extreme poverty still leaves nearly a billion people hungry and living on less than a dollar a day, forcing 215 million children into child labor and allowing nine million children to die each year from preventable causes.When triumphant headlines read “456,000 children receive HIV/AIDS drugs” the next headline should have been “But 3.5 million kids are infected.” The drugs exist but the funding isn’t there and so children still die. Knowing what we know, we all share in the responsibility for these deaths.THE SAME HEART is a film that tackles what it will take to actually end this kind of extreme poverty that our world’s children are inheriting. What are the alternatives to our complicated and voluntary aid system where most countries, our own included, deliver less than half the funds we have pledged? What do we need to do differently? We have asked these questions of Nobel Laureates, economists, politicians, activists, child laborers and community organizers.Economists and moral leaders know it’s possible to feed and educate every child, provide medicine to the sick, shelter, clean air and water. We can have this world if we want it badly enough. It will take money of course, time, innovation and political will.
What it will take is THE SAME HEART.
  • Justice for All
    Justice for All
  • The Same Heart – Water
    The Same Heart – Water
  • The Same Heart- Child Hunger in the U.S.
    The Same Heart- Child Hunger in the U.S.

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