Documentaries about people overcoming great obstacles to achieve their goals are inspiring. They provide a sense of hope that, like the film’s characters, we too can make our biggest dreams come true.
The two young women featured in my documentary “Africa’s Daughters” continue to inspire me. Now 20, they’re both in college in Uganda—Ruth at Makerere University in Kampala studying Food, Science and Agriculture and Hoctavia at Uganda Christian University in Mukono studying Law.
Sometimes documentaries tell stories that do more than inspire, they bring about real change. Stanley Nelson’s film “The Murder of Emmett Till” led the court system to reopen the case after several decades and finally put the perpetrators of this horrible crime in jail. Other documentaries raise awareness about an issue and get people to take action to resolve it.
With “Africa’s Daughters” I was able to document the gap in girls’ secondary education in Africa and how it limits the progress of many societies in that continent. But even more rewarding is that through screenings in Jacksonville I have been able to raise enough money to cover Hoctavia’s college tuition for two of her three years. I’m still working on the third.
Here is an excerpt of an email I received from Hoctavia at the start of the year. It reminds me every day that story matters.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you in your generosity in financing my education. I don’t believe that I would adequately be able to put into words how much receiving this support means to me.
Because of your support my financial needs have been lessened. Now I am in a position to focus entirely on school. I am sincerely appreciative and I hope that you know I will continue to towards earning good grades and future honors. I will work very hard to make you proud that you awarded this honors to me.
As a law student I was very nervous and exited to start UCU and after my fist year I have found that I am very comfortable to stay in UCU.
God bless you, and have a happy and healthy new year.”
HOCTAVIA NOELINE SABITI