Movie screening to raise money for Sudan refugees

3/12/2015, 7:48 a.m. | Updated on 3/14/2015, 7:48 a.m.
Virginia Commonwealth University is hosting a screening of the movie “The Good Lie” 4 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the ...

Virginia Commonwealth University is hosting a screening of the movie “The Good Lie” 4 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the VCU Commons Theater.

The goal is to raise money to aid Sudanese refugees living in camps across the Sudan border in Gambela, Ethiopia, according to Manyang Reath Kher, founder and CEO of the Henrico County-based Humanity Helping Sudan Project.

The group is organizing the fundraiser.

An estimated 200,000 Sudanese now live in such refugee camps, Mr. Kher said.

For each dollar raised at the screening, he said, a fishing net would be purchased and provided to a refugee through Humanity Helping Sudan.

“We teach them to be self-sufficient by doing things like fishing for a living,” Mr. Kher told the Free Press.

The event is part of the organization’s “Feed50KCampaign” that began in October to raise $50,000 to buy the fishing nets, Mr. Kher said.

He said about $2,000 has been raised so far and the group hopes to meet its goal largely through movie screenings in Richmond, Bridgeport, Conn.; Pasadena, Calif.; and other locations in coming months.

Admission to the movie screening at VCU is free. Event organizers hope to raise funds through the sale of wristbands and art at the theater. VCU area restaurants Panera Bread, 810 W. Grace St., and Postbellum, 1323 W. Main St., also have dedicated 10 percent of sales following the movie to the fundraising effort.

“The Good Lie” tells the story of Sudanese refugees who are given the chance to resettle in the United States. Their encounter with an employment agency worker, played by star Reese Witherspoon, forever changes their lives, according to a promotional website for the movie.

One of the film’s actors, Ger Duany, a former Sudanese refugee, is scheduled to appear at the event at VCU and answer questions from audience members, Mr. Kher said.

Mr. Kher was separated from his family during the civil war in Sudan and lived in refugee camps in Ethiopia for 13 years before relocating to the United States in 2005 with the aid of Commonwealth Catholic Charities.

Now living in Henrico County, Mr. Kher is nearing completion of a bachelor’s degree in international relations at VCU. He launched Humanity Helping Sudan five years ago.

Details on the event: Eric Prince, president of Humanity Helping Sudan, (804) 229-3572.