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Witness
Orphans of Mygoma
A remarkable film about life and death of illegitimate children in Sudan.
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2009 14:10 GMT

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Filmmaker: Taghreed Elsanhouri

Taghreed Elsanhouri was overtaken by events when she travelled to Sudan to make a film about the Mygoma orphanage in Khartoum.

The Mygoma orphanage opened in 1961 and now takes in more than 30 babies each month either left on the gate or found at the streets.

This a response to the growing numbers of illegitimate babies being abandoned in Khartoum. It is estimated that about 1,500 babies are being abandoned every year in Khartoum.

The orphanage is a lifeline for these children but with its limited resouces - funded by government grands and private donations - it has to let them go when they reach the age of five.

Those not adopted or fostered by then have to move on to much more crowded state institutions and face an uncertain future with much slimmer chances of adoption.

And it is that fact which triggered Taghreed's move from a dispassionate filmmaker to a powerful engagement with Abdelsamih, a blind four-year-old. With every day she spends in the orphanage her relationship with Abdelsamih and the other kids deepens in ways she had not seen coming.

The result is Orphans of Mygoma, a remarkable film in which issues of life and death overtake the original purpose to profoundly moving effect.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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