Last Saturday, we hosted a screening of Girl Rising, a film about educating girls and changing the world. Over 100 people attended the film, and we even had the film’s Executive Producer, Tom Yellin, on hand to talk about the making of the film. It was a great night and we’re so thankful to everyone that came!
The film highlights 9 girls from 9 countries sharing the stories, as told to writers, of their lives and their hopes for the future. The movie featured girls from Haiti, Cambodia, India, Nepal, Peru, Ethiopia, Egypt, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone, and each told a very different, but amazingly similar story, about their desire to go to school and make a better life for themselves.
First, we met Sohka from Cambodia. A child of the dump, she was orphaned and forced to pick through garbage to survive, but has now found her way into school. We then met Wadley from Haiti who, after the 2010 earthquake, refused to stop attending her school even when she couldn’t pay her dues. Suma, from Nepal, was “bonded” at age 6 and worked for many families, yet still managed to learn how to read and write in a night school for bonded girls. She was eventually freed when a local social worker convinced her master to let her go. Yasmin from Egypt and Amina from Afghanistan were interesting cases because in both, little or none of the girls’ faces were shown because of fear for their safety in their respective countries. Both Yasmin and Amina live in countries where it is particularly hard to get an education as a girl, but both girls told stories of hope that in the future, they will be able to attend school. Azmera in Ethiopia successfully avoided early marriage and remains in school. Ruksana from India and Senna from Peru both love the arts (painting and poetry, respectively), and are using them as a vehicle to express themselves and empower others. Ruksana lives in the slums of Kolkota and Senna lives in a poor mining town, yet both continue to excel in school and continue their passions.
These girls come from some of the poorest regions of the world and face a steep, up-hill battle in the game of life, but they all want one thing: to remain in school and break the cycle of poverty. They know that if they get an education, their daughters will get an education, their communities will be healthier, and their countries will prosper. The movie was not about talking about girls as victims of their situation, which can surely be argued, but as vehicles of change for the world. The film’s main message is “Educate a girl, change the world,” and it’s not hard to see that these girls and all of the others around the world are able to be their own tickets out of poverty.
The girls featured in the film are also not much different from the girls that we work with in East Africa and South East Asia. By supporting girls’ education, we are ensuring that these girls, their communities, and their countries can have a prosperous future. Donate today and help us continue our work.