EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: Wilmington filmmaker to document charity’s work in Africa

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Wilmington man has teamed up with a local ministry to capture its impact in Africa.

Curtis Thieman will take his video camera to Rwanda and Kenya this weekend. He hopes to put together a touching video showing how Zoe Ministry is helping orphans struggling in poverty.

“My goal is to the tell the story,” Thieman said.

He is ready to set out on an African adventure.

Although he has quite the resume of production work from projects with MTV to Def Jam Records, even winning Telly and Addy awards, Thieman’s trip to Kenya and Rwanda will be a new challenge.

“Their story is not an easy story to be told in eight minutes,” Thieman said. “So I need to, in six days of shooting, I need to make sure we get everything we need to tell that story.”

Thieman has teamed up with Zoe Ministry, a group that empowers orphans in Africa to break the cycle of poverty. He says the ministry inspired him through its mission to make orphans self-sufficient.

“It’s more than just teaching them a skill,” Thieman said. “They address six different things that are needed to sustain and not get pulled back into poverty.”

Through Zoe, native social workers connect orphans with local churches and business training programs. In just a few years, the program has reached nearly 30,000 children.

Thieman will use his lens to capture the ministry’s impact.

“The cool thing about it is once these kids are done with this program, they’re doing really well,” he said. “They’re bringing in other orphans underneath them, and they’re teaching them so it’s kind of got a ripple effect.”

Thieman has high hopes for the eight-minute video he will complete in the next several weeks. He says the tedious work will be worth it.

“There’s no greater good that help kids,” Thieman said.

Thieman and Zoe Ministry are hosting a fundraiser for his trip to Africa at Front Street Brewery in Wilmington tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $40. Or you can donate online at zoevideo.com.

Categories: Extraordinary People Next Door, New Hanover

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