Little Heaven

The Human Rights Watch is putting on their yearly Film Festival in cities all over the country. There is a bevy of excellent films on the menu. One particular film we wish to highlight is a delightful and profound film called Little Heaven.

In this film Lydia is at a turning point in her life. We experience life through Lydia’s expressive face and reflective diary entries, her daily routines at the Little Heaven orphanage for children living with HIV, her conversations with other children there, her doctors’ appointments, and her exercise, study, and prayer. Despite being abandoned by their families or left alone when their parents died, the children form a new family, together with their caretakers. Their HIV status is always in the background, but small victories show us a life that is full of hope­, not despair.

The commitment to the victims of AIDS is a long standing Catholic tradition.  Most of care to AIDS victims in Africa are from the Catholic Church. Human Rights Watch has documented a wide range of human rights abuses linked to HIV and AIDS, fuelling HIV risk and impeding access to information and services to prevent, treat, and mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS. Recent reports have addressed physical abuse and denial of care to prisoners living with HIV in Uganda and Zambia, barriers to HIV services in the southern United States, and denial of palliative care for adults and children living with HIV in Ukraine, India, and Kenya.

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