Taught how to express their feelings with shapes and colors, the children at the Queen Rania Family and Child Center in Jordan use paint, brushes, and paper to build confidence in their emotions and discover their dignity and identity. The art program, along with other activities such as group yoga and drama class, teaches the children to trust themselves, and builds the self-confidence necessary to deal with traumatic experiences like child abuse and domestic violence.
Education and personal growth can come in many forms. The Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation brings dogs into schools to help children break through their shyness, especially the developmentally challenged. Children with ADD, autism, and other developmental disabilities improve their speaking and social skills with the help of the program.
Thanks to Brother Andrew de Carpentier, deaf children in Jordan have a place of their own to learn. In addition to academic and vocational training, the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf matches up younger children with older mentors to foster a spirit of self-assurance that helps them grow into confident and independent adults.
Problems arise when people simply do not understand one another. At the community school in Neve Shalom/Wahat al-Salam—named in both Hebrew and Arabic—children learn both languages at a very young age, thus cultivating a spirit of communication and mutual understanding. The village is a true rarity, as Jews and Palestinian Arabs live together in cooperation and respect.
The battle against HIV presents unique challenges in different cultures around the world. In India, Dr. Suniti Solomon and her team at the YRG Centre for AIDS Research and Education are working hard to change attitudes and slow the spread of the disease.
Women in rural China have one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Wu Qing at the Development Center for Rural Women believes that empowering women with the idea of equality, giving them out-of-home work skills, and instilling them with a sense of social responsibility will increase their feeling of self-worth and improve their quality of life. To plant the desire for knowledge, the center also started a grassroots literacy program.
Former Hollywood actor Dr. Prabhavati Dwabha came to India to find herself; instead, she found people in need and a new purpose in life. At Ramana's Garden, Dr. Dwabha is working to give a future to children who would otherwise be without one.
Drawing students from around the world, EARTH University in Costa Rica teaches future leaders how to implement agricultural techniques that drive economic progress while respecting and preserving resources. Its mission is to promote sustainable development and eco-sensitive agriculture in the developing world.
In Mumbai, thousands of young girls are forced into the sex trade against their will after being kidnapped or sold by their families. This film documents the work of the Rescue Foundation, which searches out imprisoned girls, and provides a refuge for them after their escape.
In Hebron, human rights organization B'Tselem is giving children video cameras to document their daily lives, hoping that it will lessen violence between Palestinians and Jews.
One mile long and 600 feet high, the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is an enormous feat of engineering, with huge controversies to match. Completed in 2008, the dam created a vast reservoir extending 370 miles. It provides drinking water and electricity, but it has also displaced some two million people and caused widespread flooding, destroying rural villages and cultural treasures. In this film, we meet some of the people whose lives have been affected.
In the town of Iqaluit in the far north of Canada, domestic violence is a serious problem. But Arctic women are supporting each other at Qimaavik, a safe haven for abused women and children. Through peer support and counseling, they are rebuilding their self-esteem and healing wounded spirits.