Lord Richard Attenborough together with his little friends in Cape Town - Photo: SOS Archives
Who has not heard of "Gandhi" or "Cry Freedom", films for the big screen conveying a great humanitarian message? Or "Jurassic Park", a film classic for dinosaur enthusiasts big and small?
In real life, the proprietor of the giant lizards' park, John Hammond, is the director of the first two films mentioned above, Lord Richard Attenborough. The winner of an Oscar who has been a friend of SOS Children's Villages for many years, paid a visit to SOS Children's Village Cape Town in 1999. Although the children didn't really know the celebrity that had come to visit their village, Attenborough's beard and his pleasant nature made quite an impression on them.
The feeling of love was mutual: "These little persons are as important as anyone else in this world. We can't leave it up to governments or charity organisations to care for them. Everyone carries the moral obligation to take care of his neighbour, especially in case of such defenceless human beings as orphans or street kids.
Children are wonderful creatures with an enormous potential. But they need a lot of support, food and love from adults. In order to develop all their abilities and skills, they have to grow up in a loving atmosphere without disturbances." And he added addressing the children: "We are responsible for your well-being, and we promise to do our best to achieve it."