By LAJU ARENYEKA
IN order to shine the spotlight on the transformative power of girl-child education across Africa and the world, the ground-breaking feature, ‘Girl Rising’ was screened for the first time in Nigeria at the Silverbird Cinema, Victoria Island, Lagos recently.
The Nigerian premiere, as part of the celebration to mark the International Day of The Girl Child, was co-hosted by the United Nations Information Centre, Lagos (UNIC), Zonta International Clubs in Nigeria, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), and Nigerians Report Online.
‘Girl Rising’, apart from being a ground-breaking feature, is a movement dedicated to empowering and achieving educational equity for girls around the world.
The film spotlights the stories of nine unforgettable girls born into unforgiving circumstances. It captures their dreams, their voices and their remarkable lives.
In her welcome address, the President of Zonta International Club of Lagos, Ms. Shade Bembatoum-Young, restated the commitment of the organizers to empowering the girl child in Nigeria.
“We, the co-hosts of the Nigerian Premiere of Girl Rising, believe in the power of education to change not only a girl, but the world.”
She further stated that the event was not just to celebrate the International Day of the Girl Child, but to focus on the need to break down barriers that limit girls and women.
“By hosting an International Day of The Girl Child event in Lagos, we are demonstrating our commitment to breaking down the barriers that prevent girls around the world from going to school – barriers like child marriage, sex trafficking, gender violence and discrimination” she added.
The Secretary General of The United Nations, represented by Mr. Oluseyi Soremekun, Officer-in-Charge, United Nations Information Centre in Lagos, reiterated UN’s commitment to the promotion of the girl child education in the country.
The Secretary General also called for fresh solutions to girls’ education challenges and enjoined all to heed the voices of young people.
“On this International Day of The Girl Child, let us work together to invest in education so that girls can advance in their personal development and contribute to our common future.”
In her goodwill message, President, Women ARISE for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Odumakin, observed that the future of any nation depends on the girl child.
“Parents should know that the girl child is their present as well as their future and therefore should not jeopardize it.”
Intel, a founding partner of ‘Girl Rising’, donated four classmate PC’s to four of the girls.