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Benefit Showing of Documentary Oct. 25

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Milton Ochieng' '04 and Fred Ochieng' '05 to attend screening

The remarkable story of Dartmouth alumni Milton and Fred Ochieng' is the subject of a new award-winning documentary, Sons of Lwala: Here, You Belong to Everyone, to be screened at the Hopkins Center on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. The brothers and the film's director, Barry Simmons, a former fellow at the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, will be on hand for a post-showing question-and-answer session.

Milton and Fred
Sons of Lwala chronicles the efforts of alumni Milton and Fred Ochieng to build a medical clinic in their hometown in Kenya. Milton graduated from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2008 and is currently a first-year resident in internal medicine at Washington University. Fred is a member of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine's class of 2010 (Photo by Craig Parker).

The film relates how the brothers overcame daunting international and financial obstacles to build a medical clinic in their home village of Lwala, Kenya, helped by the many friends they made while attending school in the United States. The film's subtitle refers to the brothers' drive to use their educations to help their home village, which had banded together to raise money to send the brothers to study at Dartmouth.

Since the clinic opened in April 2007, its staff has seen more than 1,500 patients per month, mostly women and children. The clinic provides basic primary care and maternal and child health services, and is free of charge for about 85 percent of patients. Proceeds from the Dartmouth showing will support the clinic. Admission is $8, $5 with a Dartmouth ID.

"The enormous needs in Lwala and the excitement of the people have continued to push our sights ahead," says Joel Wickre '03, who is executive director of the Hanover-based Lwala Community Alliance (LCA), which oversees the clinic's operation and fund raising, as well as other village development activities.

Senator Bill Frist, M.D. (R-Tenn.) says, "The passion and determination these brothers demonstrated in pursuit of their goal was remarkable. I don't think Lwala could ever have two more devoted advocates."

The film was a hit at the 2008 Nashville Film Festival, receiving the Audience Award for Best Documentary, the Independent Spirit Award, and the Nashville Public Television (NPT) Human Spirit Award.

People and institutions in and around the College have long been among the Ochieng' brothers' lead supporters. William Young, professor emeritus in obstetrics and gynecology at Dartmouth Medical School, opened his home to Milton and Fred during their time as undergraduates and became their academic and American-life mentor. His relationship with the brothers tightened after the Ochiengs' parents, back in Lwala, died of sudden illness. Young remains one of the Ochiengs' biggest champions and is director of the LCA.

Following the movie there will be a benefit reception (a $100 donation to LCA is encouraged) at the Hanover Inn's Hayward Lounge, beginning at 9 p.m. For more information, contact William Young via email or at 650-8370.

By STEVEN J. SMITH 

Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 12/17/08