A refugee from the Sudanese civil war, Zacharia (one of the ‘lost boys’ of Sudan) lives in Sydney, Australia, with his partner and daughter. He desperately wants to do something for his village, now in the newly created nation of South Sudan. His dream is to build a much-needed school, and he enlists the backing of numerous well-intentioned Australians. Janet, a dedicated supporter, joins him on a 40-day charity walk from the Queensland border to Sydney to raise funds for this venture. Will this strategy raise the funds they need? Thwarted by escalating conflict back in South Sudan, and shocked by a broken relationship, Zac must decide what’s important in his life.
Wednesday, September 6th 2017
at 6:30 pm
Palace Cinemas Norton St
LEICHHARDT, New South Wales
Wednesday, September 13th 2017
at 6:30 pm
Event Cinemas Manuka
Manuka, Australian Capital Territory
Thursday, September 28th 2017
at 6:30 pm
Village Cinemas Hobart
Wednesday, October 18th 2017
at 6:30 pm
New Farm Cinemas
New Farm, Queensland
Wednesday, November 15th 2017
at 6:30 pm
Forum 6 Cinemas Wagga Wagga
WAGGA WAGGA, New South Wales
Online ticketing for all screenings is available. Just follow the link to the Hope Road Film below.
Further information on the film and the personal story of Zacharia Machiek is also available there.
A note on TOM ZUBRYCKI the film maker:
Tom has had access to all of the work and internal discussions of South Sudan Orphan Education. The 40-day Hope Road charity walk, was a project conceived by the committee members of SSOE, with advice and assistance coming from many quarters. Tom was there to witness and record the whole thing,
And a bit of background to the Hope Road walk and film:
Zacharia Machiek’s life began in a cattle camp in Cueibet County in South Sudan, around the village of Abyei Ajok. From the age of 6 or 7 boys and girls begin their duties cleaning the cattle yard around the camp.
Zac’s early life was shaped by the constant strife in Sudan. When the army from the North arrived, burning villages and killing civilians, Zac and other young boys fled and began a long walk into Ethiopia with men, women and children along with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, a trek during which many perished.
Living in Australia since 2003, Zac has never forgotten the people he grew up with or the troubled circumstances in his homeland. As an active member of the Australian community, he communicates widely about the things bringing hope, despite all of the hardships, to the people of South Sudan.
The project of building a school in Zac’s village is to improve access to education for the extremely disadvantaged children, primarily girls. The project has been managed and driven by South Sudan Orphan Education, a Sydney based NGO, formed in April 2007. The projected is also supported by Rotary.
School Project Committee Meeting
SSOE is governed by a volunteer management committee and chaired by Zacharia Machiek. Local government officials and village chiefs have endorsed SSOE and it’s building of the school, which is located in the rural village of Abyei Ajok in the Bahr el Ghazal region of South Sudan.
Zacharia travelled to the village in late 2012 with $7000 in order to organise the first stage of construction – the making of the mud bricks for the entire school. The workers were drawn from the 7 village clans, and were paid in food-bags rather than cash. Both men and women were employed. By 2013 the bricks were stacked ready for the construction of the first set of classrooms. Meanwhile, back in Sydney the committee organised a series of fund raising events including, raffles, pizza and trivia nights and concerts. This raised $10,000, which the Committee allocated to building a reliable well for the school. However $40,000 was still needed for the first set of classrooms.
The committee had always imagined that there would be some support from the Federal Government through their overseas aid budget. However the new Liberal NP government in 2014 made drastic cuts, and countries in sub-Saharan Africa were the worst affected. The committee had no choice but to think outside the box, and decided to organise a 40-day charity walk between Tweed Heads and Sydney. Despite a slow start and lack of corporate sponsors, $20,000 was raised in a short space of time mainly from small private donations. Rotary also came on board, and its various branches hosted the walkers as they made their way down the coast.
However in 2014 civil war broke out once again in South Sudan. The conflict led to a disturbing lack of civil authority throughout the country. Inter-clan violence has inhibited contractors from travelling to the village. The project was on put on hold for 2 years.
Its now 2017, 3 years after the walk finished. This amount raised for the walk has more than doubled to $44,000, mainly through additional contributions from Rotary. The Committee now has sufficient funds for the next stage of building . Zacharia plans to travel to the village in late 2017 to assess the situation and to co-ordinate the resumption of work on the project. The plan is for the first stage of construction to commence in 2018.
SSOE is seeking public support for the project and donations to fund the building of the school. SSOE is authorised to fundraise for charitable purposes in New South Wales, under the Charitable Fundraising Regulation 2008 Act.