In order to shine the spotlight on the transformative power of girls? education across Africa and the world, the groundbreaking feature, ?Girl Rising? was screened for the first time in Nigeria at the Silverbird Cinema, Victoria Island, Lagos as part of the celebration to mark the??International Day of The Girl Child. The Nigerian Premiere 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.

The event brought together 350 girls, boys and young women from primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, members of the press, civil society and representatives of the Deputy Governor, and the Lagos State Commissioner of Education. Also present were several partners and sponsors of the event including The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Zonta International Clubs in Nigeria, The Kudirat initiative for Democracy (KIND), Nigerians Report Online, Kiddies & Brands Company, and Cool FM. The Girl Rising Nigerian Premiere was also proudly supported by the British Deputy High Commission in Lagos; Silverbird; MTN Foundation; Educare Trust; Queens College Old Girls Association; Peter Zion Nigeria Ltd; and Rite Foods.

The partnership is part of a global movement to educate girls and empower them to be world changers and to believe in their dreams.

?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; the film captures their dreams, their voices and their remarkable lives.

The event brought together members of the Private sector, Government dignitaries and members of??Civil society, to raise global visibility about the importance of educating girls.

In her welcome address, the President of Zonta International Club of Lagos 1, 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 said.

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 the commitment of the United Nations system in Nigeria to the promotion of the girl child education in the country. He conveyed the warm wishes of the Resident Coordinator of the UN system in Nigeria, Mr. Daouda Toure on the occasion and noted that the UN, through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is
collaborating with the government of Nigeria to improve children?s access to education and revitalize Adult and Youth literacy 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.? He added.?

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.? She said.

Intel, a founding partner of??Girl Rising?, donated four classmate PC?s to four of the girls who spoke about the issues raised in the film?during the interactive session held immediately after the screening.

Intel has also set out a grand design to work with a diverse set of partners including global and local NGOs, corporations and governments to achieve its goal of educating as many girls as possible starting from Africa.


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