WASHINGTON (December 10, 2010)—A mini-documentary on homelessness by the seventh grade religious education class at St. John Vianney Catholic School in Kailua, Hawaii, won the grand prize of the 2010 Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), the anti-poverty program of the U.S. bishops. The prize is being given today at the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry in New Orleans. Around 2,500 youth ministers will be attending the conference.
The submission, entitled “Family of Promise,” was produced by religious education students who researched the growing number of homeless people in Hawaii and the U.S. and then conducted interviews, wrote a script, shot and edited the video. The mini-documentary also profiles the Family Promise program in Hawaii, in which families volunteer to host homeless families a week at a time as they work to address the factors that have contributed to their homelessness. The video can be found online at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEkbZfODEwc
“This video reflects the reality that homelessness really can happen to anyone,” said Ralph McCloud, director of CCHD for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “The students involved initially thought homeless people were alcoholics and drug addicts but, after interacting with homeless families, found compassion and understanding. They learned about the causes of homelessness and how people can combat these causes. This greatly reflects the mission of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.”
The seventh grade students who produced the video were Maeve Gareghty, Christina Hill, Mia Hussey Kozlowski, Bailey Kahawai-Welch, Mark Kelley, Noah Kiakona, Shea Martinez, Jordan Johnson and Kolby Kahahawai.
Second place prizes in grades 10-12 and 7-9, respectively, go to Nina Fredericks, 12th grade, Father Ryan High School, Nashville, Tennessee, and Anthony J. Rojas and Maria P. Rojas, eighth grade, St. Andrew Catholic School, Orlando, Florida. Third place prizes go to Nicholas Guelda, 12th grade, St. Xavier High School, Louisville, Kentucky, and Gwyneth Sise, seventh grade, St. Mary’s Institute, Amsterdam, New York. Honorable mention goes to Paige Lysaght, 12th grade, Notre Dame Academy, Toledo, Ohio.
CCHD developed the Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest in 2001 to help schools and parishes engage youth in learning about low-income people in the U.S. who are addressing the root causes of poverty. It is open to students in grades 7-12 in Catholic parishes and schools. This year, students were asked to work from the theme, “Empowering Communities, Uprooting Poverty,” through visual arts, audio-visual means or literature. Original works were submitted to diocesan-level competitions. Local winners were forwarded to Washington for final judging.
CCHD is the domestic anti-poverty and social justice program of the Catholic bishops in the United States. With the support of Catholic parishioners, it has provided grants to more than 4,000 community and economic development projects over the past 40 years. The annual CCHD collection is taken up in most Catholic parishes in the United States on the weekend before Thanksgiving.
Keywords: Catholic Campaign for Human Development, CCHD, Multi-Media Youth Arts Contest, St. John Vianney Catholic School, Kailua, Hawaii, Archdiocese of Honolulu, documentary, video, homelessness, poverty, root causes, Family Promise program, National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry, Family of Promise
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