Malayaka House

During a trip to Uganda in 2005, Robert Fleming reached a turning point in his life. He found a baby girl left for dead in a trash can. Scooping her up, he made the decision to stay in Uganda and raise the child. He named her Malayaka, which means angel in Swahili. Officials soon began contacting him with cases of other abandoned children, and Malayaka House was born. “Robert is the most amazing person I have ever met,” says filmmaker Jacqueline Harlow, who along with Jesse Bradley directed the documentary about Fleming’s journey, Malayaka House. Malayaka House provides a sustaining community harvested from the land around it — healthy food, clean water, electricity, education — giving those who call it home the tools they need to lead independent, joyful lives. The aim is for the children to become self-sufficient, Fleming told us, to spread what they learn to the local economy — attending school, collecting rainwater, producing food and maintaining the solar panels for electricity — allow-ing the community to flourish. “We want them to do something with meaning, to feel good about what they’re doing and move out into the world,” Fleming said. “They’ve got to be creative and know how to work hard…the best thing you can do for anybody is to give them a job.” A question-and-answer session with Fleming and Harlow follows today’s screening. 1 p.m. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit www.malayakahousefilm.com. $5 to $6.
Sat., June 11, 1 p.m., 2011

 
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