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The Just Us Project
We might wear different clothes and have difference customs, but inside we are all the same. That’s the insight behind the film, The Just Us Project.

When newlyweds Alex and Meghan Nicholls took their vows, they were intent on more than wedded bliss. They also joined their passion for social justice with formidable skills at event organizing and filmmaking. The result —about nine months later — was a little 40-minute film dubbed The Just Us Project.

Filming The Just Us Project in Kiziba Refugee Camp in Rwanda and (inset) Meghan and Alex Nicholls: A passion for social justice.
Photo, courtesy Gary Sharpe, International Teams.

"Young Canadian Christians," says Meghan, "haven't met many other young people living in the Two-Thirds World and so tend to focus on differences. We have different clothes and different customs but inside we are all the same. It's not us and them."

Just Us — the project and the film —came out of that insight. Footage was shot in Rwanda over three weeks during May 2008. The main characters are regular Rwandan people who Meghan says were so focused on others' needs instead of their own, "It was humbling."

After several months in the edit suite, the film premiered in October 2009 at The Meeting House in Oakville. It's on offer free to any group wishing to screen it.

Originally written to a "Christian audience to help them move beyond the traditional concept of soul saving and into an understanding of development as a holistic approach that meets people's physical needs as well," Meghan says the film will also appeal to secular audiences.

"Looking into the eyes of another person and seeing their circumstances changes hearts," she adds. And because not everyone can head overseas, the film is the "next best thing."

The hope is that the film will demonstrate that young Christians have much needed technology skills to bring to an underdeveloped world, which in turn can share its "incredible capacity for hope."

Because the Nicholls had witnessed other films — like An Inconvenient Truth — whose impact fizzled once the audience dispersed, they decided to include a post-screening discussion guided by Just Us volunteers.

For more information, a trailer and opportunities to volunteer, visit www.justusproject.com.

Originally published in Faith Today, March/April 2009.

Used with permission. Copyright © 2009 Christianity.ca.

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