Girl Rising

Girl Rising

If you read my blog called "World Bank Chillin!" you'll remember I was super thrilled to visit the World Bank during a Monday programming session. You'll also remember I was super motivated by a video we saw that Nike put out promoting education for girls. If you had time to check out Nike's campaign, you'll know the benefits the organization claims that educating girls has on the world. If not, I'll tell you... Nike offers educating girls as a solution for world poverty! The company doesn't make that claim out of the blue, though. It's pretty grounded in research.


Fun Facts

  • When a girl in the developing world receives seven years of education, she'll marry four years later and have two fewer children. Her childhood is prolonged!
  • An extra year of secondary school increases her earning potential by 25 percent.
  • According to a World Bank study, if girls in Nigeria were employed at the same rate as boys, they would add $13.9 billion to the nation's economy. 13.9 BILLION DOLLARS. WHAT!?

Girl Rising

Gender equality has become more than a social issue; it's become an economic issue! After my time at the World Bank I started researching Nike's campaign, and eventually found myself on the World Bank's website. There, I found an advertisement for an event on Thursday, April 17 at the World Bank. The organization would be debuting a film made by 10x10 - in conjunction with a number of other agencies and organizations - that discussed educating girls across the world. The film was called "Girl Rising." 10x10's mission is educating girls to change the world... similar to Nike's The Girl Effect campaign. I was immediately intrigued and watched the trailer for the movie.


I was astounded. The trailer alone gave me chills. I posted it on my Facebook and Twitter, and - since I run Genocide Watch's social media platforms - posted the video on Genocide Watch's Facebook and Twitter. I couldn't have been more excited to see the actual film. You can't know how I was feeling unless you watch it yourself... Check it out!



Trip to the Movies

Because I was so excited by the trailer, I had to see Girl Rising. As I mentioned, it was playing on Thursday at the World Bank headquarters in D.C., but I couldn't get tickets. At first, I was upset. But I continued my research and found out the movie was playing in Regal theatres across the country April 19-25. I looked up Regal theatres in the area and found one in Silver Spring, a 20-minute metro ride from the RAF! My roommate Katie Mount and I decided to head out to Silver Spring that Saturday for an 11:30 a.m. showing.


Downtown Silver Spring

Here we are! Downtown Silver Spring.


I don't regret the "early" morning Saturday trip at all. The trailer was certainly an indication of the film... it was AH-MA-ZING. Beyond what I could have imagined. The quality of the story-telling and the production was so compelling and I fell in love with the girls featured in the movie.


As posted on the movie's website:

"GIRL RISING is a groundbreaking film, directed by Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins, which tells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers and narrated by 9 renowned actresses. Girl Rising showcases the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world."


The site couldn't be more right! The 9 girls are girls facing adversity to obtain education in their respective countries. Each one is paired with a writer from their country who helps tell their story. And many famous women we know and love jumped on board to narrate the girls' stories. Actresses include Anne Hathaway, Selena Gomez, Cate Blanchett, Salma Hayek, and more!


As the movie started

The movie started with incredible video of a Cambodian girl.


It's Not Easy

As great as the movie was, I was an emotional WRECK from the start. It is so hard to see the real-life stories of these girls told with footage shot in their native countries. The first story - and probably the one I felt most strongly tied to - was the story of Wadley, a little girl living in Haiti. Before the earthquake, she went to school every day. On January 12, 2010, changed her life forever. After the earthquake, her mom couldn't afford her education anymore, but Wadley wouldn't give up. She went to the makeshift school and sat in on classes, despite being thrown out by the teacher multiple times. I think this story resonated with me most because I recently traveled to Haiti and witnessed the still-present devastation the earthquake left scattered across the country. I recognized the familiar rubble, tent cities, and tarp-roofed schools the film portrayed. It was hard to see those things after having worked to build a school in Haiti. But, it also made me feel good that the very thing I worked towards on my winter break is something that is being recognized by the World Bank as a solution to poverty in nations like Haiti.



I can't really describe to you how I felt after seeing this movie. I was inspired. Emotionally drained. Yet, I was motivated. I raved about the movie and my mom even went to see it. I should also mention that after seeing the trailer, I applied for an internship at 10x10, the company that funded the movie. I want to be part of this movement to educate girls across the globe, and I know that seeing this movie is not one of those moments I'll easily forget.

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