The Girls are Rising

Thursday, March 20, 2014 - By: Ciel A-B & Tyler P

Defiantly, Sokha, a Cambodian orphan, dances calmly in her shimmering gold dress. Her movement is swift, elegant and, above all, bold; a burning confidence radiates from her fierce eyes. She contains the world’s potential; she is empowered and seemingly unbreakable. Sokha, however, was once the property of a garbage man, enslaved to sort waste. She was a timid girl who felt worthless and weak, indentured to a life of servitude. 

In early March twenty-nine Brentwood students and two teacher chaperones travelled to Vancouver Island University to attend the Duncan inter-cultural society’s screening of ‘Girl Rising’. The film told the stories of nine girls from nine countries: Sierra Leone, Haiti, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Peru, Egypt, Nepal, India and Cambodia. Each girl had her story voiced by renowned actors such as Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, and Liam Neeson. 

We gathered in a beautiful cedar lecture hall with over forty other members from the community to witness something truly inspiring.

Displaced by an earthquake.

Ripped from everyday life.

Forced into servitude.

Married away for a car.

Trapped by a sexual predator.

Ensnared with the poorest of the poor.

Threatened with death.

Faced with some of life’s greatest challenges, these girls did not falter. They fought the odds, taking risks and facing their fears. All of humanity is entitled to education, but these girls had to earn this inalienable right. Their courage is truly inspiring, and a girl with courage can be a revolution.

Educated girls stand up for their rights, and have the power to choose their fate, whether it be motherhood, marriage, or solitude. Regardless of the path they choose, educated girls cultivate thriving, knowledgeable and educated communities. Removing barriers such as early or forced marriage, gender-based violence, domestic slavery and sex trafficking means not only a better life for girls, but a safer, healthier and more prosperous world for all.

See a preview of the film here:

Ciel A-B & Tyler P

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