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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


Students consider values and rights of citizens in a democratic society.
Students consider how values support social cohesion and how values can be undermined or strengthened by individual or collective action.

Students consider the role of non-government organizations in contributing to communities and their influence on government decisions.

Students investigate ways in which the media and ICT are used to influence citizens’ views

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. Students explore the extent of volunteerism in their community by brainstorming examples of voluntary activities undertaken by themselves, family or friends. About how many hours are spent per week in voluntary activities? Why do people give their time? Why do we appear to need volunteers in our community? How might social cohesion in a communuity be strengthened by volunteerism? Discuss the work and source of inspiration of Moira Kelly from the video clip.

2. Brainstorm non-government organisations (NGOs) – for example, CARE, Children First Foundation – known to students and in small groups, using the video clip, the internet and other sources investigate one NGO – its mission, activities, funding, role of volunteers and links, if any, to your school. Invite a speaker from a voluntary organisation or NGO to your school.

3. Using the video clip, the internet and other sources, investigate a recent international health crisis, for example, the 2004 Tsunami, the drought in Sudan. List the various roles aid agencies and aid workers played in these crises. Why are local people unable to deal and cope with the situation at the time?

4. Investigate the extent to which the Australian government contributes to helping countries in need of assistance. List some current examples of overseas aid activities. Examine the AusAID website. Should our government use Australian peoples’ taxes to assist other people in need? Organise a debate around this issue. Can individuals, classes, schools make a contribution? Investigate what voluntary activities the school currently undertakes.

Further Resources


Go to Children First Foundation

Go to AusAID