U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy J. Powell announced today the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) “Girl Rising Country Partnership,” which will use the power of the Girl Rising film to increase public dialogue on gender and education issues in order to encourage community-level interventions to help improve girls’ education. Speaking at the International Day of the Girl Child event at the American Center in New Delhi, Ambassador Powell said, “The United States recognizes the importance of girls’ rights around the world to be educated, to live a healthy life, and to be treated as equals in society.
Girl Rising is a film that uses the power of storytelling to deliver a simple, critical truth: educating girls is one of the smartest investments we can make to reduce extreme poverty.”
At the event, the U.S. Mission in India hosted a screening of Girl Rising for 100 girls affiliated with the USAID funded NGOs Pratham and Katha. The girls visually shared their dreams by writing aspirations on paper birds to be displayed at the American Center, symbolizing their dreams taking flight. A group of children from Katha also sang a song about empowerment. The partnership is collaboration among USAID, 10 x10, Intel Corporation, the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), Vulcan Productions, and Pearson Foundation. Additionally, Cable News Network (CNN) is Girl Rising’s international television distribution partner. All partners are working to raise awareness and change attitudes and behaviors relating to girls’ education. Girl Rising is a powerful and innovative feature film by Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, which highlights the stories of nine girls born into difficult circumstances.
Girls featured include Ruksana, an Indian “pavement-dweller” whose father sacrifices his own basic needs for his daughter’s dreams; Sokha, an orphan who rises from a life in a Cambodian garbage dump to become a star student and accomplished dancer; and Suma, who writes songs that help her endure forced servitude in Nepal and today crusades to liberate others.
By creating local-language releases of Girl Rising and follow-on teaching materials, this important public private partnership will seek to make a difference in the lives of girls in some of the very places featured in the film.
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