By Salem Lorot
When I was first introduced to watch ‘A Small Act’ through an E-mail from a personal friend outside Africa, little did I know that interlinked stories of Chris Mburu and Hilde Back will unfold in so many ways.
Imagine this: A Swedish woman helps a boy in rural Kenya by sending fees. The boy progresses in education. He loses contacts with the Swedish woman. Then, he becomes a Harvard graduate and a Human Rights Lawyer for the United Nations!
Now replace Swedish woman with Hilde Back and that boy with Chris Mburu.
Inspiring, isn’t it?
But that is just the beginning of the story.
Chris Mburu traces Hilde Back and ultimately finds her. Then, to honour her, he helps set up the Hilde Back Foundation which assists children from disadvantaged communities access secondary school education in Kenya.
A Small Act tells about the story of Hilde Back and her ‘small act’ of sending fees (which she thought to be nothing, really). The documentary, directed by Jennifer Arnold and previously nominated for Emmy, has won numerous awards, including the more recent Silverback Award at the Rwanda Film Festival 2012.
The Hilde Back Foundation, founded by Chris Mburu in 2001, has been expanding and has its footprints in Nakuru, Kisumu, Nairobi and Tsavo East National Park. As of 3rd February 2012, the Foundation has awarded 170 deserving students with secondary school scholarships.
Now, there is something in the offing to throw a birthday party for Hilde Back on her 90th birthday and to promote education as a human right. One at the Safari Park Hotel on 5th October and the other on 6th October at Mitahato Village in Kenya.
On 6th October, 2012, Mitahato Village (located 25 kilometers from Nairobi) will welcome thousands of people from all over the world to a special musical extravaganza that will feature some of Kenya's finest traditional and modern entertainers as well as showcase unique village-based handicraft artists. A musical band from Los Angeles is planning to play a special surprise song for Ms Hilde Back, just for the occasion! Hilde herself will be in attendance, serenaded by hundreds of Kenyan children whose lives she has changed forever by her historic single act of generosity.
On October 5th, there will be a special fundraising gala dinner from seven O’clock in the evening at the Safari Park Hotel Ballroom. The Key Note Speaker will be Dr. Willy Mutunga (Chief Justice of the Republic of Kenya). The special guest will be Ford Roosevelt (HBEF International Advisory Board Member & Grandson of the former US President Franklin Roosevelt). There will be entertainment by Eric Wainaina and the Best Band in Africa.
RSVP by September 21, 2012
+ 254 0 (20) 444 2962/ (0717) 969509
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Salem Lorot is a lawyer currently pursuing a post-graduate diploma in law. He is a published poet with a running blog, echoes of the hills, a writer and an avid reader. He has written extensively on a wide range of issues on law and society. He is a connoisseur of the music in East Africa, fashion, cuisine and his regular staple is the entertainment industry with the manifold twists and turns. His interests are informed by themes of social justice and interactions with diverse groups in Kenya.