Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Michael Castro

Second Advisor

Peter Carlos


"Rafiki: Children or Hope .. is a story of' survival, loss, hope and triumph. The explanatory narrative supplements the fifteen-minute documentary. and walks you through my journey of completing the video production.

The video documentary exposes the reality the affect HIV/AIDS continues to have on Sub-Saharan Africa; more specifically, children at a small orphanage in Kikuyu, Kenya. Twenty-three children reside at Rafiki orphanage and each o[ those young faces all lost their parents to AlDS. Interviews with the House Mother and God Mother of Rafiki provide the organization history. Footage of the children reveals the emotional obstacles many of them were working to overcome.

Rafiki is a Swahili word meaning "friends" or "friendship'' and this project was a collaborative effort between three friends. Tim Croskey, an engineer and videographer shot all of the video footage. His wife and Kenya native, Wangari Croskey, wrote the story behind the footage and I produced and edited the final project. Together, we created a powerful story showing that not all of' Africa's children are lost.

This project proved to be challenging but. extremely rewarding. I spent a great deal logging various tapes of footage spanning the years of 2002 - 2006. Lack of communication with Tim and Wangari delayed crucial elements of the project. But I eventually obtained the English translations from Wangari and was able to move forward with recording audio. My passion for music and its power in documentaries guaranteed my selections would be chosen with care. I needed the film to emit a hopeful but melancholy mood. I wanted the viewer to feel the pain buried inside the children but also see the hope most of them finally bad.

The project impressed upon me that you never stop learning. After all the elements of my project finally came together, the editing process proved to be the most difficult. Piecing together the recorded voiceovers with the taped interviews. creating original Li ties, correcting colors of shots, and deciding the proper format for the story - alI tested my assumed pre-existing knowledge.

The AIDS epidemic spreading throughout Africa seems to be a losing battle. Nevertheless, the orphans at Rafiki are fighting and succeeding. Loise. the only orphan interviewed in the documentary is currently in college and studying Mass Communications. Although she lost both of her parents, she still has her will to fight the affects of such a deadly disease. From the solemn to the happy faces. I can only hope someone is touched and moved to support the Rafiki AIDS ministries after viewing my documentary.


Thesis included a DVD documentary that is not included here.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License