Honoring A Father's Dream: Sons of Lwala
Milton Ochieng’ is a bleary-eyed medical student slogging through his third year at Vanderbilt University. He’s on rotation in the hospital before dawn and cramming at the library late into the night. What makes him different from all the other med students, though, is that he is also overseeing the construction of a hospital in a village in Kenya. It’s his village, actually - and it’s calling him home.
Milton grew up in a farming village called Lwala. His parents, Margaret and Erastus, were both teachers who invested their meager savings in their children’s education, sending Milton and his younger brother Fred to boarding school. It paid off more than anyone in Lwala could have imagined: after high school, Milton was offered a scholarship to Dartmouth College in the United States. But his parents were unable to afford the airfare to send him to America. So the village came together, in an astonishing display of generosity, and sold their chickens and cows in order to raise the $900 for his plane ticket. They bid him farewell with only one request: “Just don’t forget us.”
Neither Milton nor Fred could have known at the time, but within four years both of their parents would be dead. AIDS is ripping through that corner of Kenya, and the problem is made worse by the fact that the sick must walk for miles to receive any kind of treatment.
This is why, before he died, Erastus began making plans to build Lwala’s first clinic. After his funeral, Milton and Fred made a decision which would change their lives forever: they announced to the village that they would finish what their father started.
It is 2006 now, and the brothers have been struggling for a year to open the clinic. Fred has followed Milton to Vanderbilt, where he is also studying medicine. Both are frantically juggling the demands of school and the needs of their village, where people are dying of preventable diseases each month as the clinic sits unfinished. They still need money to finish construction, to drill a clean water well, to hire staff, and to purchase medicine. So in desperation, they appeal to friends for help raising $90,000.
What follows is an extraordinary outpouring of support as thousands of strangers rally around the beleaguered brothers. As word of Milton and Fred’s story spreads across the country, it is championed by children, college students, and a rock band who spark a nationwide movement to save Lwala. Sons of Lwala takes us along on this moving journey of two brothers who lose their parents in Africa, but discover a family in America.
- "Prisoner of Hope" Music Video by Grammy Award winning band JARS OF CLAY
- Movie Trailer
|Producer(s):||Mitchell Galin and David Kiern|