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New FGFJ Documentary Explores the Dream Behind the Global Fund

September 1, 2022
New FGFJ Documentary Explores the Dream Behind the Global Fund
FGFJ Global Fund 20th Anniversary Documentary Film "It Always Starts with a Dream"

What is a dream?

The 1990s HIV/AIDS crisis had a devastating impact on the world, and as the epidemic spread, that impact was significantly more severe in low income countries with limited funding for drugs and treatment. As a result, the world was confronted with the problem of “life inequality.” As he considered how to address this issue, Kofi Annan, then UN Secretary General, had a dream: would it be possible to create a fund aimed at fighting infectious diseases?

This dream, initially dismissed as an impossibility, eventually led to the creation of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The creation of the Global Fund  became possible through the dreams and solidarity of advocates who believe all human lives are equal. A key turning point in the conceptualization and establishment of the Global Fund was the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit held in Japan in 2000.

“When I first mooted the idea of the Global Fund, people said I was dreaming…I love dreams. It always starts with a dream.”
– Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations from 1997-2006

The Global Fund was born out of the dreams of many, and it has saved lives, changed lives, and enabled millions to live on and pursue their own dreams. Behind this institution that has saved 44 million lives are the stories of countless people.

FGFJ has created a documentary series in the 20th anniversary year of the Global Fund, titled, It Always Starts with a Dream. The series starts with an introductory digest video (below), covering the history of the fight against infectious diseases. Japanese experts also discuss the present and future of the world’s countermeasures against infectious diseases.

Following the initial digest video, a series of three episodes will be released featuring the stories of people who are making efforts to realize the dream of ending AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. 

Documentary Series (in Japanese):

Episode 0: Digest Video

In this episode, Japanese global health experts in academia, nonprofits, media, and medicine, discuss the present and future of the world’s countermeasures against infectious diseases. The discussion draws on the history of the fight against infectious diseases in Vietnam and El Salvador, as well as the history of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, which has roots dating back to the 2000 G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit hosted by Japan.  

Episode 1: After Hovering Between Life and Death, She Has Become a Representative for Others and Offers Hope 

This is the story of Phuong Anh, also known as Fiona, who was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) at a young age but was able to overcome the disease after treatment she received through support from the Global Fund. Fiona is supported by her family, doctors, and schoolteachers, and she has become a supporter herself for others undergoing TB treatment. She is an active advocate for measures to fight tuberculosis and is working to realize the dream of ending TB in Vietnam and around the world.

Episode 2: A Dream Come True for El Salvador: Becoming Malaria Free

In 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, El Salvador was certified malaria free by the World Health Organization (WHO). This accomplishment, which was more than half a century in the making, was possible due to the steady activities of volunteers (known as the “Col Vol”) and the support of the government. This story is about El Salvador, a small country in Central America where the community and government came together to realize a dream.

Documentary Series – Upcoming:

Episode 3: (Filming in progress in Nigeria)

To be released in November 2022.

Credits:
Planning and Production: Friends of the Global Fund Japan
Video Direction and Production: ActAdvent
Narration by: Hitoshi Kubota

This is the story of Phuong Anh, also known as Fiona, who was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) at a young age but was able to overcome the disease after treatment she received through support from the Global Fund. Fiona is supported by her family, doctors, and schoolteachers, and she has become a supporter herself for others undergoing TB treatment. She is an active advocate for measures to fight tuberculosis and is working to realize the dream of ending TB in Vietnam and around the world.

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