Right In the heart of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa is a small orphanage called “Little Heaven”. One of the orphans, Lydia, is 13 today. A truly joyful event, because she can now move to the ‘other house‘ where all of the ‘big kids’ live. Unfortunately, this special day is overshadowed by the shocking news delivered to her by the head nurse: Lydia is HIV positive.
The other children in the new orphanage do all they can to support Lydia. At first glance, they look like any normal group of young children: they go to school, they play together in the courtyard of the orphanage, and they have fun laughing on their bunk beds.
The children in the orphanage live as independently as they can. Apart from taking their daily dose of medication, they try as much as possible to exclude the burden of illness from their daily lives. However, Lydia suffers quite a lot with her own health and is continually confronted with her illness during frequent hospital visits. “I sometimes feel like a chemist shop with all the medication I have to take,” she sighs. Lydia’s illness also prevents her from doing what she absolutely adores the most but no longer has the strength for, which is dancing.
The children in the orphanage receive news that the students with the best results can go to a better school in the coming year. This news encourages Lydia to persevere with her illness, and towards her dream to become a teacher later on in life, and she is now more determined than ever before to make this dream come true.
Director: Lieven Corhouts (Belgium)
Production Company: Off World