Calling on all Angels

By Rory Mccarty

Senior Reporter

Oakland University’s Wellness Health Promotion program will be showing the film “Angels in the Dust” on May 21 at 1:30 p.m. in the Oakland Center. The film was also shown earlier on April 28.

“Angels in the Dust” is the story of a therapist, Marion Cloete, who leaves a comfortable life to help underprivileged children living in Africa. Her mission was to start a village named Botshabelo where she could help the children by providing them with food and shelter, as well as acting as their mother and teacher.

The film begins by talking about how Cloete and the children nurse elephants back to health after they have been abandoned or made parentless and left to die in the wilderness. From there, the film segues into the stories of some of the over 500 children living in the Botshabelo orphanage.

“The film shows the influence of the orphanage on the children it cares for, while also including the heart-wrenching stories of a few of the orphans,” said event organizer Kelly Kosek.

The children are either afflicted with AIDS themselves or have been left without families due to the AIDS pandemic. Some of them were abused in their homes or simply abandoned by parents who couldn’t care for them.

That’s not the only effort to raise AIDS awareness going on either. Oakland professor Dr. Stafford Rorke will be participating in an ultra-marathon, that is a 56 mile marathon, the Comrades, to raise $3,000 for the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.

The Starfish Greathearts Foundation helps orphanages like the one in “Angels in the Dust,” Kosek said. Not only is Rorke running the marathon, but it’s his 16th time doing so. Kosek said, “For the past few years, he’s done it in about ten hours.”

Rorke runs marathons and does weight training to prepare himself for running the Comrades.  He hopes to raise awareness among Oakland University staff and students to the South African HIV/AIDS problem.