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Through the Lens: Dukale's Dream

Kelle Vandenberg

By Kelle Vandenberg, Vice President of Marketing

Ethiopia. It is an old land of ancient people with courage so calm that it whispers rather than shouts. It is a courage that speaks of hope, of strength, of unfailing determination. It is the land that many of us know as the birthplace of coffee.

As a teenager, what I knew of Ethiopia was what I saw on the television in the 80’s: the Ethiopia of extreme droughts and a starving people. The images moved a world into action and brought aid to people in need. And then we went about our lives and the aid ran out. Eventually, the rains came back, but by then, the television crews had long since moved on to another equally devastating disaster. But the Ethiopian people worked their land, loved their families and built their dreams.

Ethiopia is the home of Dukale’s Dream.

I recently was invited to preview the documentary film titled, “Dukale’s Dream”, featuring Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-lee Furness. The documentary tells the tale of how Jackman and his wife, as ambassadors of World Vision Australia, travel to Ethiopia to see how a developmental project is impacting the people and helping to empower a community.

On their journey they meet Dukale, a 27-year-old coffee farmer from the Yirgacheffe region of Ethiopia. The narrative of Dukale and his family unfolds with simple eloquence and is woven into a much larger tale, helping us understand the changing role of development within countries of need.

Giving money is remarkably easy to do—we write checks, swipe cards, check the box all the time. But few of us are given the opportunity to witness first-hand the impact development has on a community. While watching the film, you lose the idea behind his fame, you only see a man trying to make a difference and trying to understand how to continue to empower from afar.

“This is not the way things are meant to be, and it is not the way they have to be.”1
—Hugh Jackman

I spoke with the director of “Dukale’s Dream”, Josh Rothstein, known for his documentary work in the areas of social change and development. Rothstein is no stranger to a people in plight. I asked him what he hoped the impact of “Dukale’s Dream” would be?

Follow this link for the full article (page 20):

You can also view the trailer of “Dukale’s Dream” here: