Charity Films Promote Girls Right to Education

Today, October 16th is Blog Action Day and we’re joining thousands of bloggers from around the world to participate in a global conversation about this year's theme 'Human Rights'. Every year since 2007, bloggers have come together for one day to talk about one important issue – last year we joined the conversation on ‘The Power of We’ and in this year’s blog we're focusing on what I believe is the world’s most fundamental human right - education.  Education promotes individual freedom and empowerment yet millions of children and adults remain deprived of educational opportunities and girls are particularly vulnerable. More than one in ten children living in the developing world never get the chance to go to school and at least one in five adolescent girls around the world is denied an education by the daily realities of poverty, conflict and discrimination. Every day, girls are taken out of school and forced into work or married off which can mark the end of them having any choice over their own future. Securing access to basic education for all is one of the Millennium Development Goals. With the 2015 deadline for these goals fast approaching, it’s now more important than ever that progress is made.

There are many fantastic charities working tirelessly to make a difference and help vulnerable girls into education and engaging people in their work is fundamental to their success. Purple Flame Media have created many charity and corporate social responsibility videos over the last thirteen years. One of our latest productions is a schools resource for CAFOD (Catholic Agency for Overseas Development works with partners in countries across the world to end poverty and injustice). ‘One Day One World’ is a primary school film about a day in the life of children in Bangladesh and in the UK, to explore similarities between the children against a backdrop of difference. Comparing a day in the life of Tuli in Bangladesh and Josh in England, the film helps UK children explore the wider world and increase their global awareness. The DVD was mailed to over 2,000 Catholic primary schools in England & Wales and can be viewed in its entirety or by chapters linked to learning themes – here’s the ‘at school’ chapter:

While planning the project we were all keen to make this a film that drew parallels without it coming across as a negative portrayal of the differences. We filmed Tuli over three days, following her to school, whilst she collected water, praying with her family and playing games. It’s great to produce a learning resource for UK children which will encourage them to think about how children live around the world and how they can make a difference. School engagement is important to CAFOD and this film will help to communicate to children and teachers the importance of the charity’s work. The film will ultimately help CAFOD to engage children with social justice issues and inspire them to take action. Over the last year there have been many charity campaigns to support vulnerable girls to stay in education and fulfill their potential; and video content has been used to communicate the key campaign messages and reach larger audiences. The following stop-motion animation film about the importance of education for girls was made by Plan International. The film features 12-year-old Brendar from Malawi who lost both her parents to Aids, and it was awarded the UNICEF Award for best film promoting children's rights at the 2013 International Animation Festival in Annecy:

This powerful film illustrates how girls hold the power to help break the cycle of poverty. With education, skills and the right support, girls can make choices over their own future and be a huge part of creating lasting change. On this day when we're all thinking about Human Rights it's important to remember how we can all make a difference. For the last eleven years I’ve sponsored a young girl in India through her education. I’ve been sponsoring Kavita through Plan International and I also support their ‘Because I’m a Girl’ campaign with a monthly donation.  Last week more than 1.5 million people across the world - including Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for being a schoolgirl - backed Plan’s Because I am a Girl Raise Your Hand initiative, calling on the world to make girls’ education a priority. Plan will be taking the 1.5 million raised hands directly to the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, with the call to make girls’ education a priority for the post-2015 UN agenda.

Through campaigning and project work charities are making a lasting difference to help girls get to school and remain in education but there is still such a long way to go before all children have the educational opportunities they deserve. Alongside charity efforts, governments need to fulfill their obligations to provide good quality education for all so that more girls can transform their lives and the world around them. We love producing films which make a difference and it’s great to be involved in Blog Action Day again; we look forward to reading many other blogs on the broad theme of Human Rights and taking part again next year. To watch the full 13 minute CAFOD film ‘One Day One World’ click here. To see the full CAFOD schools resource click here.

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