Yesterday I attended a private screening of the film “Girl Rising“, hosted by Vital Voices. I cried. Here I was, choking back tears and yet, these girls showed such courage in sharing their stories. The film is focused on the need for girls education and how it’s an investment that pays off multiple fold. I have a personal interest in the subject and I identified with each of the girls in different ways – from Wadley from Haiti, Azmera from Ethiopia, Ruksana from India, Amina from Afghanistan, Suma from Nepal, Senna from Peru, Mariama from Sierra Leone, Sokha from Cambodia, and Yasmin from Egypt. Their stories not only touched, but changed me. They provided answers to questions I have been musing about in recent months.
We take so much for granted, it takes but a moment to realize just how much. If you’re reading this you most likely had some level of quality education. While you may have encountered challenges you probably didn’t encounter pain of death in your quest for knowledge. Like Malala Yousafzai, these girls did. Many girls do. Education is still a privilege in many ways.
If you have an opportunity to attend a screening, please do. It will add value to your life. Here’s to the amazing people who developed Girl Rising and made sure that the “authentic voice” of each girl profiled was at the fore. Thanks to the authors who wrote their stories and to the artistes like Alicia Keys, Salma Hayek, Kerry Washington who narrated their stories. To the parents – and especially fathers like mine – who champion girls education, thank you. To the phenomenal girls in this film and all over the world who overcome daily obstacles to just sit in a classroom…you inspire.
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.