An award-winning documentary about hope and healing in the midst of horrific tragedy will air on several PBS stations this month, marking five years since Haitiâ€™s historic earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. Three young Haitian men featured in the film will attend a Vatican conference this weekend on the ongoing impact of the humanitarian catastrophe experienced by Haiti.
â€œUnbreakable: A Story of Hope and Healing in Haitiâ€ will be shown on PBS stations in Philadelphia and in markets in Florida and Utah at scheduled times listed below. It has already been shown on New Mexicoâ€™s KENW-TV.
The earthquake killed well over 100,000 people and left another 1.5 million homeless. Additionally, thousands of people were seriously injured. As the events unfolded there were many stories of tragedy, but also of heroism and the resilient nature of the human spirit.
Winner of the Most Inspirational Documentary Award at the DocMiami International Film Festival in September, â€œUnbreakableâ€ tells the story of the thousands of children who underwent emergency amputations and their involvement in â€œHealing Haitiâ€™s Children,â€ a program that made available free prosthetics and rehabilitation to every child injured in the earthquake.
The program was a partnership between the University of Miami-affiliated Project Medishare, which provided medical expertise and treatment, and the Knights of Columbus, which offered funding of nearly $1.7 million. To date, approximately 1,000 amputees have received new prosthetic limbs in the program, which has also trained Haitians to continue both the fabrication and rehabilitation work.
â€œThis film shows that when there is the will to do so, both in terms of those providing aid and those receiving it, lives can be saved and transformed by a program that is truly sustainable,â€ said Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson, executive producer of the documentary. â€œThe work of the dedicated medical staff and the unbreakable spirit of these Haitian young people in circumstances most of us canâ€™t imagine, are truly inspiring.â€
Not only did these young people survive, Anderson explained, they thrived and some prosthetic recipients even formed an amputee soccer team composed of amputee athletes from Port-au-Prince and the surrounding region. The film follows the story of the new team, named Zaryen (tarantula) after the spider known for its resilience even after losing a leg.
Members of the team include Wilfrid Macena, Mackenson Pierre and Sandy J.L. Louiseme, who will be sponsored by the Knights of Columbus at the Rome conference on Saturday, Jan. 10. The squad and its players have inspired not only Haitians, but also Americans; the team traveled to the U.S. in 2011 to introduce amputee soccer to troops who lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition to having aired in New Mexico, â€œUnbreakableâ€ will air on PBS this month in four other markets, including:
Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL, WUSF-TV, on Saturday, Jan. 17, at 1, 4 and 10 a.m. and at 4 p.m.
Salt Lake City/Provo, UT KUEN-TV, on Saturday, Jan. 24, at 8 p.m.
Orlando/ Daytona Beach/ Melbourne/ Cocoa, FL, on WEFS-TV, on Sunday, Jan. 11 at 9 p.m.
Philadelphia, WYBE-TV, on Monday, Jan. 12, at 8 p.m.