Friday, November 6

Sólo se necesita una niña

Back in May, two different Peace Corps volunteers--one in Paraguay and one in the Republic of Georgia--separately emailed me, asking if they could recreate my video and translate it into the local languages of the countries in which they were working. I enthusiastically granted them permission, excited about seeing my video (or a version of it, at any rate) become more accessible to more people.

I admit, I had since forgotten that these email exchanges had taken place--that is, until I heard back from the volunteers, both within the past couple of weeks. Both volunteers worked with youths in their countries to recreate and translate my video (and, in the Georgian version's case, add more Georgia-specific information and statistics).

Check out some of the highlights below--the full videos are embedded at the bottom of this post, but the Georgian version can also be viewed here and the Paraguayan version here.

Some boys even got involved!


The video that the youths in Georgia created is a little longer than my original was, and it is awesome.

This says: "Georgian youth from all around the country joined together...
...To raise awareness about the effects of early marriage on girls' education in Georgia."

The beginning of the video seemed pretty familiar...

"Imagine a girl... any girl."
"Now, imagine she is married before she is 15, usually to a much older man."

But then, there was some new stuff.

"Child marriage still exists in Georgia today...
...The regions of Kvemo Kartli, Kakheti, and Samstkhe-Javakheti are the most affected areas in the country."

The Georgia-specific information was pretty unbelievable.

"In Georgia, cases of forced marriage, abduction of girls,
and marriage deals made between parents still occur."
"The WHO and other organizations called on Georgia's government
to formally declare early marriage a human rights violation...
...And they did it."

But no matter where in the world child marriage is happening, the message is still the same:

"Girls have a RIGHT to stay in school."

There is still so much that needs to change. 

"As of 2015, 17% of Georgian women were married before they turned 18."
"Girl brides in general are less likely to know their rights,
and are more likely to be the victims of domestic violence...
...However, getting married and having children is often seen
as a woman's most important role."

But there is hope.

"An educated girl has a ripple effect...
...Giving girls the tools to learn can impact families, communities, and the world."

The ending of the video is especially touching... I really encourage you to give it a watch.

The Paraguayan version was pretty incredible as well, and overall more familiar.

"Imagine a girl...
...Any girl."
"Your daughter...
Your granddaughter...
Your niece."
Now, imagine she is nothing more than a burden for her family. So she is taken out of school and married to a much older man. Within the year, she is pregnant. She is too poor to send her own daughter to school.

"Without education, her daughter is no more than a burden for her family...
...The cycle begins again."
"1 in 7 girls in the developing world marries before she is 15.
This is what 15 looks like."

Child marriage is a human rights violation. Yet, 25,000 girls younger than 18 are married every day.

There are 600 million girls in the developing world, and about a fourth of them are not in school. But when a girl does manage to stay in school, delay marriage, and get an education, really amazing things can happen. 

"Invest in the future. Make a change.
Save a life."
"It only takes a girl."

Thank you so much to the Peace Corps volunteers and all of the talented Georgian and Paraguayan youths who took the time to spread this message even farther. There is still so much to be done, but with such incredible girls (and boys!) working on this issue, I know we will see a real change in my lifetime.

This is the full video from Paraguay:

And here's the full video from Georgia:

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