More than 300 Washingtonians came to show their support for this Spring’s screening of “Girl Rising,” which follows the lives of nine girls, all from different parts of the world, who overcame injustice and adversity via the power of education.
The movie, narrated by celebrities ranging from Anne Hathaway and Selena Gomez to Alicia Keys and Salma Hayek, tells the stories of Cambodian orphan Sokha, who once subsisted on the scraps she gleaned from a dumpster; Ruksana, the daughter of a homeless family in India; Sierra Leone’s Mariama, the first in her family to attend school in the war-torn country; and child bride Amina from Afghanistan, among others. After each girl began attending school, her life changed dramatically, with once-locked doors to opportunity now open, ensuring a brighter future for everyone.
Prior to the screening, host Allison Priebe Brooks delivered remarks highlighting the importance of educating young women worldwide, and the role of sanitation in allowing that dream to reach fruition.
“I was stunned to learn that toilets increase a girl’s school attendance by almost 25 percent,” Brooks said. “If education is the door to opportunity, then sanitation is the key that unlocks that opportunity for so many.
“Sanitation is also a way to empower these girls’ mothers because sanitation is the number one community need identified by the indigenous Mayan women in Guatemala.”
After the screening, Brooks and her fellow hosts collected donations to help nonprofit The Highland Support Project, which is currently preparing install a sewage system in the Mayan village of Chuicutama, Guatemala.