Chad is a vibrant, poverty-stricken country in the middle of sub-Saharan Africa. It is here that the filmmakers ask a central question concerning North America's involvement in Africa: how can aid be delivered with justice and dignity?
From Under the Bushy Trees follows Gerri Graber of Powell River, BC to Chad. There she teams up with a young education student, Batholomew Mokuh, and they work together with the villagers of Manda to build a school. The project captures the imagination of people of Powell River. As well as the money raised for the school, they also help support a family of seven AIDS orphans. Despite everyone's best intentions, problems arise.
At the heart of the film are the women of Chad, living in a society of ongoing oppression. During the course of filming, these women meet collectively for the first time and begin taking control over the uses of the new school. They understand, along with the outspoken Lynn Whitehouse, Canada's Honourary Consul for Chad and resident of the country for thirty years, that education is key to building sustainable social change and a better life for themselves and their children.
From Under the Bushy Trees takes us on an intimate and challenging journey into the complexities of offering aid to Africa.