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Thursday, June 18, 2009

"A Necessary Journey" Premieres at 2009 Breckenridge Film Festival

A compelling look at post war, modern day Vietnam. Join the Children of Peace medical team (health care professionals, Vietnam War Veterans and just "plain people") as they travel the length of Vietnam, treating children, orphans, families and survivors of the Vietnam War. From the indigenous tribes in the northern mountainous region to the bustling, cyclo-choked streets of a very cosmopolitan Saigon, it is "A Necessary Journey" for any person interested in the aftermath of war.

Soroptimist members and their guests traveled to Breckenridge, CO, for the Jun 13th premiere of "A Necessary Journey". RMR Governor Barb, and Governor-elect Jan joined eight members and friends from the Fort Collins Club in celebrating this fantastic accomplishment. The 97 minute film focuses on post war Vietnam and the nonprofit efforts of Binh Yybacki, founder and Executive Director of Children of Peace International, and valued member of Soroptimist International of Fort Collins. Rybacki is inspiring; Director Alfonse Ruggiero and Executive Producer Tami Bradshaw weave a magnificent story of binh's life and her humanitarian service to the beautiful yet war-torn people of her home land. The cinematography is fantastic; viewing is a must.

More about Binh, Children of Peace, and Soroptimist:
Northern Colorado volunteer, Binh Rybacki is “Mother” to over 6000 Vietnamese children. COPI provides shelter, food, health care and schooling for those children. Rybacki fled Vietnam with her family in 1975 before Saigon fell to communist troops. She returned to Ho Chi Minh City in 1993 to translate for a group of doctors and witnessed children working the streets as peddlers, beggars, and prostitutes. They were called bui doi—“dust of life” – of no value whatever. Unable to accept such conditions, she founded COPI, which now operates orphanages, facilitates international adoptions, organizes medical missions, educates thousands of children, and provides micro-loans for cottage industries.

Rybacki was awarded an unprecedented honor by the Vietnamese government. She received Vietnam’s annual Children of the Founder Award, in Vietnam, March 2003 . The award is given to someone who has worked to improve the lives of Vietnamese people. Binh is the first woman and the first non-Vietnamese citizen to receive the award.

Soroptimist International—Fort Collins Club spearheaded fundraising and public recognition efforts for Rybacki’s nonprofit organization with its 1998-99 Women Helping Women Award. Since then, Soroptimist clubs in the Rocky Mountain Region have raised over $18,000 for COPI to use in constructing a school and purchasing sewing machines, playground equipment, computers, automotive parts and tools, reflective vests and market kiosks.