What happens when kids around the world talk to each other? They learn they aren't alone.
I recently was given the opportunity to meet the filmmakers and folks behind the amazing short documentary "The World Is as Big or as Small as You Make It." Sundance has given us an exclusive premiere of the film. The project was created with a grant from the Sundance Institute and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady created the short from a winning 140-character story entry.
The documentary is about an amazing bunch of kids who live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and are blessed with having an awesome mentor who wants to connect them with the world. Sannii Crespina-Flores runs the Do Remember Me Project, which helps kids from Philadelphia, New York, Tanzania, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Paris, and Kazakhstan connect with each other and discover that their worlds are not as different as one might think.
This short documentary will take 10 minutes of your time and asks some interesting questions. At 4:00, a girl from across the globe asks, "Have you experienced racism?" and the completely unsurprising answer of "yes" with the story from 12-year-old Nasir that follows it is pretty gut-wrenching. At 7:11, some kids from France ask, "Where are you from?" and get confused when the kids' answers aren't a country in Africa. It's a pretty powerful moment.
The schools these kids go to every day have metal detectors. Every kid has to wake up and be reminded of the obstacles they face the second they arrive to class. In spite of that, they still kick butt every day, making and telling and hearing stories of the world that 10 years ago they wouldn't have had the opportunity to be exposed to.
They'd love it if you helped make sure their story is seen by more folks. Additionally, if you'd like to learn more about them you can Like them on Facebook and donate at their site.