Girl Rising is the culmination of six years of work by a team of former journalists from ABC News. They set out to investigate how to end global poverty (no small question!) and what they discovered was a simple, elegant truth: that educating girls is the highest-return investment you can make in breaking cycles of poverty. The desire to spread that truth led them to make Girl Rising.
The film is neither documentary nor fiction. Rather, it is an effort to take the stories of real girls and the barriers they face to achieving their dreams and present them in a way that is both moving and personal. The stories are meant to bridge the gap between us and them, and the film seeks to demonstrate another fundamental truth: that everywhere in the world, what young girls want is the same as what most of us want - a chance to be young and a chance to learn. And yet, often, because they are born female, girls don’t get that chance.
Global change begins with individual and collective action, and so Girl Rising is built on a foundation of partnerships with NGOs, corporations, policy makers, and grassroots organizations — all working to change minds, lives, and policy. By screening Girl Rising for the greater community this Saturday, January 11, Sewickley Academy is supporting the girl-focused programs through the Girl Rising Fund. The Fund is distributed to Girl Rising’s high-impact network of nonprofit partners who are working on the ground: A New Day Cambodia, CARE, Girl Up/United Nations Foundation, Partners in Health, Plan International USA, Room to Read, and World Vision.
Girl Rising is not just a film. It is also a movement that embraces the words of activist Malala Yousafzai: "One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world. Education is the only solution.”
Through this video, you can meet one of the nine girls featured in Girl Rising. Though her brothers went to school, Suma (pictured on right) was forced into bonded labor at age 6. The Nepali girl endures years of grueling work by expressing her sorrow in beautiful music and lyrics. Suma glimpses a different future by learning to read, the first step on the road to freedom.
Suma's story was written by Manjushree Thapa (pictured on left), a Nepali writer and activist whose fiction and non-fiction help to elucidate the complicated world of modern Nepal. Suma’s story is narrated by film star Kerry Washington, NAACP Image Award-winner, Emmy nominee, and activist working to end violence against women and girls.