Looking for Change Makers

by Gail Mooney
October 19 2010

I’m beginning to realize the impact that our project is making, both in my life and in others and it’s quite astonishing. I suppose I should have known that this would happen, but I was only listening to my inner voice that was prompting me to get out and do what I do – create awareness with my camera.

I had a conversation recently with a medical doctor who had seen the trailer of our film.  He told me that he thought I was an amazing person. I awkwardly received his compliment and replied that I wasn’t amazing at all – that it was people like him and the subjects of our film who were amazing – people who were saving lives.  Then he told me that yes, he saves lives on a daily basis in his community and sometimes beyond, but that I was influencing people globally through the power of film. He reminded me that I should never underestimate the impact that I can have using my talents to create positive change.

I have just returned from a conference in Amsterdam, The European Summit for Global Transformation, where I had been invited to show my ten-minute trailer to open up the event.  It was an impulse decision to attend – less than a week’s notice – but again I was listening to my inner voice and said “yes”.  I can honestly say that this was one of those weekends that I know will have a profound impact on my life.  It was a weekend of listening to other change makers’ stories and networking with others to make the impossible – possible.  I had three wonderful days of being surrounded by believers – all just ordinary people – but people who are making the impossible happen.

Perhaps one of the most rewarding things that I got from attending this conference was the feedback I received from a culturally diverse group of people who saw our film’s tease. It was invaluable, uplifting and energizing. One thing was reiterated over and over by everyone I talked to and that was they loved the fact that my daughter and I shared our thoughts about making the film – in the film.  It personalized it for them and in turn made the film more powerful.  I’m not quite sure if I will edit the film to include us or will make that dialog a separate “behind the scenes” chapter, but I’m thankful that we took the time to capture our thoughts in those interviews on the last day of our 99-day journey and I thank my friend Ethan G. Salwen for his insightful questions.

I would love to connect with more change makers and in particular I am looking for young people – teens, 20 something year olds – who are doing things that are making a difference in the world. I met a young man at the conference who has created a network of young people who are change makers and he has asked me for people I may know.  I know that there are people who are reading this that may very well be a change maker or know someone who is and I would love to connect you – so please let me know who you are or who you may know.

One thing I have learned by doing this project is that when you give – what you receive is always far greater.

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0 Responses

  1. I just watched your film, thanks to Eli Reichman. The tears are still in my eyes. Thanks to you and your daughter for the inspiring piece you have made.

    Four years ago I went to Uganda to shoot pictures of children at AIDS orphanages and to learn how to become an NGO photographer. I had no intention of establishing a not-for-profit, which is exactly what I did as soon as I returned home to Kansas City.

    It is called “Change the Truth.” We provide a hand up to the 180 children who live at St. Mary Kevin Orphanage in Kajjansi. Check out our website to learn more, please. I now take a group of volunteers (often teens and twenty somethings) with me each year to work with the children. I spend half of the year planing our annual Kansas City fundraiser and half of the year planning the trip. I have given up most of the portrait work I used to do. I am the director of “Change the Truth” now, and I have 180 children.

    It’s the best.

    Thanks for all you are doing to spread the word about what can be done.

    Warm wishes,

    Mama Gloria

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