After Country Boys ended lastnight, I kept PBS on for the Tavis Smiley show. Rachel Weisz (the second guest) talked about filming The Constant Gardener in Kenya. Weisz--charming and eloquent, as always--pointed out that the film company wanted to leave a positive and lasting impression in the communities where filming was done, and so a charitable organization was set up. The Constant Gardener Trust has already built a bridge, toilet/shower blocks, and potable water facilities in Kibera (a slum within Nairobi); a school and other projects are ongoing in Loiyangalani (north of the city). The trust is working with local groups to pour the location fees right back into the communities that moviegoers might have assumed were sets.
I was impressed. Today, I purchased the DVD of the movie. I rarely buy DVDs, but I felt this one deserved my money. I also made a donation to The Constant Gardener Trust.
So, we were all confronted by very extreme poverty, by abject poverty. And at first, we all thought what could we do, what could we do? It's so terrible. And you realize that if a little group of people get together and start a little organization, you can do small things to help. So, in a way, the lesson to me was that it's better to do something small than to do nothing. - Rachel Weisz, January 11 2006