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Helping Children in War-Torn Countries

Video clip synopsis – Moira Kelly begs for funds from international charities to bring children from war-torn Albania to Australia for medical treatment. One of the children almost dies, but the results are worth the risks.
Year of production - 2001
Duration - 2min 25sec
Tags - charity work, civics and citizenship, communities, international aid , volunteers, war, see all tags


Helping Children in War-Torn Countries

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About the Video Clip


Helping Children in War-Torn Countries is an excerpt from the film A Compassionate Rage (55 mins), produced in 2001.

A Compassionate Rage: Moira Kelly has run an AIDS clinic for children in Romania, been house mother at an Aboriginal mission, worked in India with Mother Teresa, nursed crack babies in the Bronx and set up schools for kids in Bosnia. She brings those in need of surgery from war zones to hospitals in the US, Canada, Ireland and Australia. Now, after three years dedicated to ill, injured and impoverished children in Albania, she’s creating a haven for young people on a farm outside Melbourne. She has been called an angel of mercy and a pain in the neck. One thing’s for certain – she won’t let anything stand in her way.

A Compassionate Rage is a Film Australia National Interest Program in association with Vue Pty Ltd. Developed with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission and Cinemedia’s Film Victoria. Produced with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Curriculum Focus


Historical knowledge and understanding
Students analyse the impact of some key wars and conflicts in the twentieth century. They analyse changes in medicine.

This video clip is also relevant to Civics and Citizenship (Level 6)
Community engagement
At Level 6, students draw on a range of resources, including the mass media to articulate and defend their own opinions about political, social and environmental issues. They develop an action plan which demonstrates their knowledge of a social or environmental issue and suggest strategies to raise community awareness of it.

This material is an extract. Teachers and Students should consult the Victoria Curriculum and Assessment Authority website for more information.

Background Information


Moira Kelly has devoted her life to the service of others. When she was eight years old she saw a documentary at school about the late Mother Theresa’s work in the slums of Calcutta. When she arrived home she told her mother that one day she would work with Mother Theresa. Many years later she did work with the nun and that is when she developed her own personal philosophy: 'Wherever there is the greatest evil, the greatest good can be achieved’.
As well as working in India, she has worked for aid agencies in Bosnia and Romania, but now she works on her own, bringing sick and injured children from war-torn countries to Australia for operations that can save lives or provide a better quality of life for severely affected children. Surgeons donate their services and the children recuperate on a farm near Kilmore in Victoria that was donated by Rotary.
Ms Kelly says that she is happy to sacrifice marriage and the chance to have her own children to help those of other people.
In 1999 she established the Children First Foundation of which she is the Executive Director.

Classroom Activities

    1. Discuss what students know about the work of Mother Theresa.
    2. Moira Kelly was inspired by the work of Mother Theresa. Ask the group to discuss any inspirations to their lives and to compare personal philosophies.
    3. Research the life of Mother Theresa and write a short biography.
    1. Before watching the video clip students brainstorm what they know about health issues of children in poorer countries, especially those affected by war.
    2. Discuss the role(s) that wealthier counties have in dealing with the health issues of poorer countries.
    3. Discuss what is meant by the terms ‘aid worker’ and ‘aid agency’. How are aid workers funded?
    4. Collect newspaper clippings about children from other countries who have undergone surgery and find out how they were funded.
    5. Find out about the Federal Government’s involvement is helping less well developed countries. How much funding is given to which countries?
    6. Find out more about the Children First Foundation.
    7. Find out about other organisations that support children from other countries who need medical treatment, are injured, orphaned or who need financial support (eg Care Australia, Community Aid Abroad, Rotary Clubs, The Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontiers, Volunteers Abroad etc).
      * the work they do
      * whether volunteers are used
      * the cost of sponsoring a child
    8. Ask students to develop a personal philosophy of overseas aid? How would it be implemented?
  1. Discuss the reasons for wars in Bosnia and Albania.

Further Resources


Go to Children First Foundation