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The Malima Project is a small charity, of which I am Treasurer, that has been functioning for the past fifteen years in one form or another, to assist the village of Gouria, located in The Extreme North of Cameroon, West Africa. It has been a wonderfully satifying fifteen years, during which a maximum of ten people on the committee in Valencia, Spain, has worked with some pretty fabulous sponsors and helpers to raise money which has translated into education for both children and adults, as well as social programmes covering health, fresh water, and other issues.
It is difficult to explain how soul satisfying it is to have the feeling you get when you have intervened in people's lives, at their request, and working together, hand in hand with those who are the beneficiaries, to succeed in making their lives better and more comfortable.
We generally have someone visit the village once a year on an inspection trip. A few years ago a professional documentary maker named Pau Navarra visited the village, along with our present president, Elena Lopez Gomez, and together they collected much raw footage that was eventually brought together in a highly professional production with the simple title, "Malima!"
Finally, it was showtime. I am writing about the event because it was the most significant thing to have happened for me for the year. I now have a fairly good idea of what it must be like for the movie production crowd who have worked on bringing a movie to the screen. There is the red carpet, and the stars, and all the glitz and glamour, and excitement. Their is also the frustration and the stress, which is material enough to make another film. In our case the copy of our film was incompatible with the machinery at our location. We came very close to having to cancel the showing, in spite of an intensive advertising campaign. However, at the last minute, having kept the faith, that problem was solved. Then we worried whether we would have sufficient people turn up to view the film. We needn't have worried, we had a near full house.
The lights were lowered and the film commenced. It was a full-on professional production that was informative to our sponsors who could see for themselves what life is like in that region; and it was also entertaining with wonderful humour interlaced with fact. For me, the experience of sitting among the audience, having been there personally, and continously working with the people of the region, I felt a rising sense of pride. Those who had worked hard to make this night happen deserve a Malima Oscar-like award.
It was a fabulous Night at the Cinema for El Proyecto Malima/The Malima Project. When things go right, as this did, we find ourselves renewing our committment to carry-on for the next fifteen years.
It's the joy of giving of one's time and talent for the purpose of helping our brethen to enrich their lives. When I know that the people I am helping are enjoying their lives a bit better, I can also enjoy my own. We who work for the good of others all feel the same way.
I urge you, if you have the opportunity, to reach out and help someone today who needs your help.
Copyright (c) 2014 Eugene Carmichael