“Somewhere Between” Sends the Message to Adopt

March 19, 2012 | www.khaleejtimes.com

NEW DELHI – Hollywood producer and documentary filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton is reaching out to the Indian youth and parents with her documentary, “Somewhere Between” with the message to give a home to abandoned girls.

The movie, part of the Sundance Institute’s “Film Forward: Advancing Cultural Dialogue” programme, a joint initiative by the Mumbai Mantra and the American Center, is trying to promote cultural understanding of global communities in multi-racial societies by highlighting their socio-cultural problems, Knowlton said.

She said that the movie, about four Chinese abandoned girls adopted by American parents, follows the teenage girls across the US, looks at their dilemmas as “Asians being brought up in American homes and their search for their Chinese parentage as they grow older”.

“Somewhere Between” that was screened in the capital Monday is travelling to Aligarh Muslim University, Amity University and Jawaharlal Nehru University with its message to adopt throughout the week.

Knowlton is also a mother of a Chinese girl, whose arrival in her household inspired her to make the movie.

“Over 80,000 Chinese girls have been adopted by foster parents in the US since 1992 and more than 175,000 worldwide,” she said quoting figures from her own film. “Like in India, China has a gender preference. A son takes care of the parents as in India because China still has an agrarian society in villages,” she added.

The filmmaker was inspired by an academic book, “Wanting a Daughter, Needing a Son” by Kay Johnson in understanding the gender discrimination and mindsets in many countries”.

“I would love to release the movie in India commercially because the subject is so relatable in India,” Knowlton told IANS. She is raising funds for the theatrical distribution of the movie through kickstarter.com that allows an independent filmmaker a 30-day window to source money for a film.

A Satyajit Ray fan, Knowlton has produced “Whale Rider” (an Oscar nominee) and co-produced “Shipping News”.

“There should be more movies about adoption of girl child. In India, such movies help raise awareness about the plight of the girl child in the light of the tragedy involving the abandoned child Falak who died a week ago. In China, the problem is acute in villages because of the one-child per family policy. Parents leave the girl children in orphanages,” Xeng Li, a Chinese student in the capital, said.

The Sundance Institute wants to return to India with a package of independent movies and workshops to help undeserved culture groups, artists and students access “meaningful cinema”, Meredith Lavitt, associate director of the US-based Sundance Institute, said.

“India is such a big country, we hope this is just the beginning. We want to bridge the cultural divide,” Levitt added.

The programme has been supported by the Whistling Woods International and the Enlighten Film Society. It is scheduled to go to Morocco, Columbia and Puerto Rico.

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Please Join the Harriman Institute for the Presentation of Redjeb Jordania’s Book of Memoirs

All My Georgias
Wednesday, 28 March 2012, 6:15pm
Room 1219, International Affairs Building
420 W 118th St, 12th floor
New York, NY 10027
Tel. (212) 854-6217

“All My Georgias is a book of memoirs structured as a compilation of real life stories that paint a vivid picture of the author’s lifelong journey through the hectic 20th century. Redjeb Jordania is the son of the first president of Georgia, Noé Jordania, who along with his entire government, was forced to immigrate to France after the Soviet occupation of Georgia in 1921.  Redjeb was born in Paris, where he grew up among the Georgian émigré colony. He later moved to the United States where he eventually settled in New York and East Hampton.

His very first occasion to visit the country of his ancestors came about in 1990. That fall and the following year he had the privilege of witnessing some of the tumultuous events that led to Georgia’s independence, the election of President Gamsakhurdia, and a few months later his ouster by an armed rebellion.

These stories are told in a masterful manner, fascinating, sometimes comical, with historical and cultural insights as background, including:  life in the Georgian émigré colony in Paris, a delirious music lesson under the bombs during WWII, living without citizenship, a New York encounter with the KGB, Georgia’s road to independence, and much more. 

Anyone interested in how people adjust to history – or just a good story – will find this book hard to put down.”                           

Sandro Kvitashvili, Rector, Tbilisi State University                    

(Available as paperback or E-book from Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com, Googlebooks, Kindle, Nook, DriftwoodPress@aol.com, and other venues)

Georgian Association in the United States
The Georgian Association is a nonpartisan nationwide membership organization of Georgian-Americans and friends of Georgia that advocates for Georgia and Georgian issues in the U.S. It is the oldest organization in the U.S. representing the Georgian-American community.

Becoming A Kybele Monthly Donor

Consider supporting 50@50 Campaign to support the work of Kybele serving women around the world and specifically in Armenia too. Check out the link.  I am so proud to serve on the board and have witnessed firsthand immense changes in how women in labor and delivery have been benefited from training peer physicians in regional anesthesia and infant resuscitation – changing lives and changing women’s health care globally.

Georgian Association Announces Small Grant Program to Establish Georgian Language and Culture Schools Around the Unites States

The Georgian Association of America has been supporting the establishment of a Georgian Language and Culture Program for the Georgian-American community of the Washington, DC area. The program provides weekend instruction to the community’s children between 3-12 years of age to help them maintain their language skills and increase awareness of Georgian history and culture. Building on the success and experience of the Washington, DC Program, the Association wishes to support other Georgian-American communities interested starting their own programs and to share the successful experiences of Washington, DC’s Georgian community.

The Georgian Association of America is offering modest grants (up to $2,000 per grant, maximum 2 grants per year) to local Georgian-American community organizations seeking to preserve and promote Georgian language and culture among their children. Grants provide start-up funding – primarily to pay the rent for the first couple of month, or/and to compensate teacher to help interested communities to establish their own language and culture programs. In addition, the Association will provide technical support and materials to help local teachers create a curriculum and establish part-time/weekend Georgian language and culture classes.

In order to qualify for funding, recipient communities will be expected to provide a plan describing how they will start and maintain their programs, including such information as identification of a public space for holding classes, number and age range of anticipated students, as well as a scheme for financing the program. The Georgian Association of America is prepared to advise communities in preparing their plans, as needed. In addition, communities should identify at least one teacher candidate who will undertake the following tasks:

  • Provide basic, intermediate, and/or advanced conversational language instruction to children that incorporates Georgian history, culture, and art;
  • Evaluate children’s language level and provide academic counseling to parents;
  • Plan and prepare weekly curriculum for children of different age groups and language abilities;
  • Research and locate teaching resources and materials;
  • Interact with families in person and in writing on an on-going basis;
  • When possible, engage in sharing of experience with other Georgian community teachers.

Qualifications/Experience:

  • Native Georgian speaker;
  • Experience tutoring/teaching, particularly general knowledge of and strong interest in young children, child development and/or education;
  • The ideal candidate will have at least three years experience teaching children;
  • College equivalent degree in Georgian Language/Philology, Education, or related field of study;
  • A strong passion for teaching Georgian language, history, culture, and art;
  • Extensive experience preparing and presenting language instruction is a plus;
  • Must be a nurturing and caring person, who genuinely enjoys working with young children;
  • Energetic, enthusiastic, and able to plan and work independently;
  • Detail-oriented and able to produce high-quality work.

To Georgian communities around the USA:

Please, submit your Language Program plans, CV of the teacher and cover letter to the Georgian Association no later than April 1, 2012 to georgianassociation@gmail.com. Please, specify “Georgian Language School” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Ia Meurmishvili
Executive Director
Georgian Association in the United States

The Georgian Association is a nonpartisan nationwide membership organization of Georgian-Americans and friends of Georgia that advocates for Georgia and Georgian issues in the U.S. it is the oldest organization in the us representing the Georgian-American community.

News From Armenia

Congrats to our Hopscotch family – another successful registration!!! We are thrilled for you and hope the time goes by quickly to bring your little one home soon.

How to Find Wheelchair Access Around the World

For those with disabilities, traveling around the world is a little more difficult if not downright daunting. To find an accessible local business or service is difficult enough, but in a foreign country it is almost impossible – or at least it used to be.

That is until Raul Krauthausen of Germany, a wheelchair user himself, developed a free iPhone app just for that. Called Wheelmap, the app shows wheelchair access places around the world and rates them on their accessibility.

Click here for more information.

Passport Day 2012: Apply or renew your passport this Saturday

March 8, 2012

By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger 

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first trip with her first passport took her across the pond. She describes her experience in the video (above) that she made to publicize Passport Day 2012 this Saturday. The day provides an opportunity for walk-ins to apply or renew passports, no appointment needed, at passport offices, libraries, post offices and other locations.

Here’s an excerpt from Clinton’s video:

“Bill and I went to London, where we spent hours touring Westminster Abbey, the Tate Gallery, and Parliament. We walked around Stonehenge, visited as many cathedrals as we could, and met people from all different kinds of backgrounds. It opened my eyes to a world of new sights and new experiences.”

How could it not? My first passport took me on a high school trip to Greece that did that very thing, too.

To apply or renew, start by going to the State Department’s website and read the FAQs so you know what to expect and what you need to bring with you. (It also tells you how to get or renew a passport generally, even if you can’t make it Saturday.)

  • First-time passport applicants must have a certified birth certificate or other acceptable ID, a passport photo, a completed DS11 form and $135.
  • Passport holders seeking to renew must bring their most recent (expired) passport, a passport photo, a completed DS-82 form and $110.

Offices open Saturday will offer standard processing, which takes four to six weeks, or expedited processing, which takes two to three weeks and costs an additional $60.

Here are hours and locations for some Southern California sites that will be conducting walk-in passport service (check out all sites in California to find a convenient venue):

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Los Angeles Passport Agency, 11000 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1000, Los Angeles 90024
  • 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Burbank Main Office, 2140 N. Hollywood, Burbank 91505
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Costa Mesa Library, 1855 Park Ave., Costa Mesa 92627
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton 92832
  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pasadena Main Office, 600 Lincoln, Pasadena 91109
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Van Nuys Post Office, 15701 Sherman Way, Van Nuys 91409

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times

Release of Adopted Children from Orphanages

 March 5, 2012 | www.adoption.state.gov

Prospective adoptive parents considering adopting in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) should be aware that the U.S. Embassy has received reports that a number of legally adopted children, including those with valid immigration visas to the United States, have not been promptly released by the orphanages to their new adoptive U.S. citizen parents or their legal representatives.  In most cases, the orphanages have eventually released the children into the care of their adoptive parents or legal representatives.  Police intervention has been reported in some cases at the request of both orphanages and adoptive parents.

The U.S. Embassy has limited authority to intervene in these situations, but encourages adoptive parents in such a situation to notify the Consular Section.

CARA Lifts Temporary Suspension of Acceptance of New Dossiers

March 7, 2012 | www.adoption.state.gov

This is an update to our notice dated October 5, 2011 announcing a temporary suspension on the acceptance of new intercountry adoption cases in India.

CARA has informed the U.S. Central Authority that effective January 20, 2012, it will begin accepting new adoption applications under its new guidelines.

Under the new guidelines dossiers must be forwarded to CARA.  CARA will no longer accept any dossier through a RIPA.

If you have any questions about the details of the guidelines or suspension, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone at 1-888-407-4747 or e-mail us at adoptionUSCA@state.gov.

News From Armenia

“Dreams Do Come True”… Another Successful Court Decree Granted – congratulations to our Hopscotch family!!

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