Jean-Marc Phaneuf, an unmarried electrical engineer, travels to Burundi as a volunteer for the NGO Radio du Monde. He finds a country ruined by grinding poverty, famine, war, disease and appalling social inequality. At the same time, he meets a joyful, brave people hungry for happiness, knowledge and human dignity. The camera that becomes his personal diary also helps Jean-Marc expose the shaky, ineffective workings of NGOs. His investigations turn up a few praiseworthy examples of international cooperation, but on the whole he finds himself drawn to a terrible, inescapable conclusion: humanitarian aid is a utopian mirage. After falling victim to an attack and losing whatever ideals he still had, Jean-Marc becomes entangled in an impossible relationship. He is ultimately forced to leave Africa in disgrace.