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AIDS Orphans in Ethiopia


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Full-length film (20 mins. 6 secs.) Vimeo Link
Full script for WHOSE CHILDREN are they NOW?
pdf or Word doc
Click here to download WHOSE CHILDREN are they NOW?


In Ethiopia, the AIDS epidemic has left more than one million children without parents. In WHOSE CHILDREN are they NOW? we meet compassionate groups and individuals have taken on responsibility to care for and raise these orphans. Those who carry out these efforts include not only family members and neighbors, but also create and work in unique orphanages. This film explores the stories of these caregivers, and the young people for whom they care. Through the films, the viewer is able to "visit" with these children in their new homes for a birthday party, for a meal together, for a day at school, and much more.

Among interviewees are a teen aged girl who has lived in an orphanage for many years. She now helps other caregivers at her orphanage. We also meet a woman who has taken in and is raising her neighbors’ children after the parents died of AIDS, and another woman who feeds, clothes and educates 13 children who live in her home with her. What is striking and inspiring in these and many more examples of caregiving, is that these are Ethiopians helping Ethiopians.

While American and European NGOs contribute heavily to efforts in Ethiopia, this film focuses on what Ethiopians are doing for each other.


Full script for WHOSE CHILDREN are they NOW?
pdf or Word doc

Reviews for the Series

"Concentric Media's efforts are helping many others to find their voices and is allowing them to participate in the healing process. In the end it is their voices that will teach the community and thereby start reversing the high trend for the incidence of HIV/AIDS in nations like Ethiopia. HIV+ people have taken more than a first step in creating awareness about the disease. It is our turn to listen and get involved."
Center for Digital Storytelling

"Whether in Ethiopia or in the US, accurate information and honest communication about sexuality are essential. This includes information to dispel the myths about HIV/AIDS that lead to fear of and discrimination against those living with or orphaned by the virus, and to a reluctance to get tested for the virus. It also includes a willingness to overcome deeply rooted cultural discomfort with discussions about sexual behavior."
Submitted by NOMBUSO
The Communication Initiative Network

Making of the Series

by Filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman

Producing these films about HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia was inspired by my work on an earlier film, WOMAN by WOMAN, a film on women's rights in India.

Working on that film awakened me to the challenges women face in developing countries. I was approached by the Executive Producer of WOMAN by WOMAN, and asked if I was open to making a film about the spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, a disease which was disproportionately impacting women. I said, "Yes" without hesitation.

As I began to do background research, I discovered that one of the most devastating aspects of the AIDS epidemic in Africa was the silence. HIV positive people, frightened of rejection and even physical abuse, would often hide their status completely or simply stay indoors. I decided to produce a film, which documents the toll of silence and the importance of speaking out. Originally, I planned to make one film. As the project evolved, it became a quintet of five individual documentaries!


Director: Dorothy Fadiman
Producers: Amy Hill, Dorothy Fadiman, Matthew Luotto, Shenaz Zack
Camera: Matthew Luotto, Henock Hailu, Cotton Coulson
Editors: Amy Hill, Matthew Luotto, Shenaz Zack
Still Images: Sisse Brimberg
Music: Aster Awake
Outreach: Maribea Berry, Johanna Gereke
Principal advisor: Dr. Agonafer Tekalegne
Support team in the USA and Ethiopia


World AIDS Day Show
This World AIDS Day Special features a discussion about the impact of HIV/AIDS on the lives of children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Studio guests Amber Stime, Founder and Executive Director of African Cradle and Peter Laugharn, Executive Director of the Firelight Foundation each explore different ways their groups help children adjust when their lives have been affected by AIDS. Amber and Peter's work includes not only children, but also their families and in some cases, adoptive parents. Short video clips complement an engaging conversation about personal experiences, breaking down stigma and the hope for future generations.

Reproductive Health, Family Planning and HIV/AIDS in Africa – UN Conference