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Everybody's Children

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They arrive under age and alone, often traumatized and seeking asylum in a country completely alien to their own. In some provinces, specifically Ontario, these unaccompanied refugee minors have surprisingly no government system in place for their care after arriving. This documentary is a cinematic portrait of a year in the life of two such teenagers, Joyce and Sallieu. They seem like your typical teenagers, except that reserved Sallieu, 16, witnessed the murder of his mother as a young boy in war-torn Sierra Leone and vibrant Joyce, 17, left the Democratic Republic of Congo to avoid being forced into prostitution by her family. Both are courageously making new lives for themselves in Toronto. They speak equally frankly about losing loved ones and what they want to buy at the mall. As they bear the pressures of being a 'normal' teenager while undergoing the refugee application process - it is the guidance and support from a handful of people - that make a real difference in the day to day lives of these children. Children, director Monika Delmos eloquently illustrates, who ultimately belong to all of us.

Everybody's Children was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.

2008, 51 min 27 s

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