“TAPESTRIES OF HOPE” is the story of Filmmaker and child rights advocate, Michealene Cristini Risley, traveling to Zimbabwe to document Betty Makoni and the Girl Child Network (GCN), and to expose an issue that continues to be ignored: the rape and sexual abuse of thousands of young girls in Zimbabwe.
The cause of these rapes is shocking: men with HIV/AIDS are counseled by local traditional healers that if they have sex with a virgin, their blood will be purified and they will be cured of the disease. The rape and abuse is out of control with little to no legal or societal consequence. The youngest case reported was that of a day-old.
Both victims of child abuse, Michealene Cristini Risley and Betty Makoni unite from two corners of the world to give the girls of Zimbabwe a voice and fight for the safety and rights of the women of this unstable and poverty stricken country.
Betty Makoni, native of Zimbabwe, rape survivor, and renowned child rights activist, has been a vital source of hope and support for these girls. Through her non-profit, Girl Child Network (GCN), she and her staff provide food, shelter, and a chance for girls to further their education and interests. It is groups like hers that give hope and a continued future to these girls.
During the filming of this documentary, the filmmaker and her crew were interrogated, arrested, and deported from Zimbabwe. The crew will not be silenced and neither will the girls of Zimbabwe.