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When I Lived in Poverty

Fri Dec 20, 10-11pm, Community Channel

At the time of viewing, there was only a rough cut of this documentary about three British teens who volunteer to teach at a play scheme in Moldova. Hopefully, the finished product will be a bit less dislocated, because every young person should watch this.

According to legend (well, Wikipedia), this landlocked country between Romania and Ukraine was named after a prince’s dog. Forced to join the Soviet Union after WWII, it achieved independence in the 1990s. This came at a price, and it’s currently the poorest country in Europe; as Jamie, Kazz and Luke discover when faced with grim outside toilets and showers, basic accommodation, and schools so threadbare that there are no pens, let alone computers.

At first, the trio are cringingly ill at ease while out of their comfort zone, but soon gain a much-needed sense of perspective and gratitude. It’s debatable whether the experience will change their lives – they’re only there for a week, after all – and the title is stretching the truth a bit. But Luke in particular seems humbled by the trip; his time spent with elderly people living in extreme poverty clearly leaves its mark.