In July 2003 Baron Stijn Coninx accepted to be the godfather of the Foundation Siddartha. His goal is to highlight the merits of the volunteers and the driving force Father Gust.
“I did not accept to be a godfather right away because I did not want to engage in a meaningless project. But what Father Gust and his people realize in Siddartha, is unique,” says Stijn Coninx. “Their energy directly and sincerely goes to people who need it. This deserves full attention, not the fact that a Flemish celebrity becomes the godfather. I accept this offer mainly to support the people who are busy with the projects. I do respect all these many volunteers and I do not want to stay in the centre of attention.”
Father Gust requested the film-maker to be the godfather because Stijn Coninx himself is characterized by a strong inner compassion. When he was sixteen he already visited the slums in Buenos Aires. Preparing the film about Father Damian of Tremelo he went to India to get acquainted with lepers.
“Father Gust told me about how Siddartha operates in Ethiopia to provide sewer kids with a better life and to give back a decent existence to prostitutes. Such images stick in one’s mind. Also the project to create a little heaven on earth for aids kids touches me. It a reality of life mostly far away from us here. I certainly want to go to Ethiopia although I do not need to be convinced of the situation there. You meet this contradiction between North and South everywhere,” says Stijn Coninx.