When Ryan Hreljac was six, his first-grade teacher informed the class that many people in Third World countries do not have access to clean water, and encouraged students to help raise money for the school to donate a well. Ryan does dishes, laundry and other chores to raise the money. When he
finds out that the actual cost to build the well is $2000, he enlists
friends and they work together to reach his goal.
He eventually raised over $70,000 to help the people of Uganda not only build a well, but also buy a drill to create additional wells. The news of Ryan's commitment and perseverance spread, inspiring other children to start raising money for his expanding social and environmental causes.
In this moving documentary we meet Ryan and his family, neighbors and friends who help him raise the money. We travel to Uganda and witness the meeting of the two very special pen pals, and the inaugural pumping of "Ryan's Well." At this extraordinary moment, Ryan realizes that he has more friends in Uganda than just his pen-pal Jimmy. He has won the hearts of the entire community, and changed their lives forever.
Ryan's is a classic story of "the power of one." This film shows first hand how one determined spirit, regardless of age, can make a difference, if not inspire an entire generation.
(25 + 50 minute versions included).
Reviews and Festivals
"Recommended. Ryan's message is this - that with a great amount of effort and desire, anything can be accomplished, and that everyone helping a little makes a difference. "
- Educational Media Reviews Online
“Recommended. A moving program that effectively communicates the message that one kid can make a difference.”
– Video Librarian
Featured in U.S.A. Today
East Lansing Children's Film Festival
California Wine Country Film Festival
Chris Statuette for Best Social Issue Documentary, Chris Awards
The Columbus International Film & Video Festival