The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions!
“Talent is universal, opportunity is not.”
Who should watch: High school students (with parental consent) and adults
Why it’s important: The second installment of the A Path Appears series explores the connections between poverty and other barriers (education, healthcare, etc.) that are faced by countless across the globe.
What Maggie thought: A Path Appears: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty is a must-see and worthy follow-up to WuDunn and Kristof’s Half the Sky (documentary and film). This episode sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals living in extreme poverty in the U.S. (specifically West Virginia), Haiti, and Colombia.
The first location for this installment is in West Virginia, which is one of the poorest regions of the United States because of coal mines closing, manufacturing plants moving, and an overall lack of available jobs. As Jennifer Garner (native to the area) explains, “Poverty is not about not having money, but it’s about not having hope.” Kristof and Garner introduce us to Lynn, a young mother who is doing all she can to stop the cycle of poverty with her daughter by making education a priority. This part of the episode will be eyeopening for most who have not seen such extreme poverty in the United States.
Next, Kristof is off to Haiti to explore the history of aid and its impact on the country’s economic opportunities. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but the presence of countless development organizations has not changed its course. Kristof meets Madame Rea, a woman who runs a school for every child, no matter their financial situation. (In Haiti there is no public school system.) Madame Rea is an advocate for her students, which viewers see when she fights for the safety of a student who is a restavek (child slave). Madame Rea and her fellow Haitians prove that locally-led solutions are the best solutions.
Kristof wraps up this episode in Colombia to share how the Fundación Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar is providing opportunities for teen mothers. Young women in the program have access to job training, counseling, healthcare, and more. Fundación Juanfe is working to empower young women with children while also educating girls on how to stop the cycle of teenage pregnancy (and extreme poverty) in their community. This organization is a great example of a holistic approach to tackling a complicated problem.
Did you get the chance to see this episode? If so, what did you think?
Maggie Broderick, NGC Development & Operations Manager, reviewed A Path Appears to learn more about her click here.