tv Girl Rising CNN June 16, 2013 6:00pm-8:01pm PDT
she was on the bus, laughing with her friends. it was just an ordinary day. a regular school day. until a stranger stepped on to the bus. he asked for the girl by name. malala. and then the stranger took out a gun and shot her. >> malala yousafzai was shot in the head on are the school bus. >> directly targeted. >> she's the face of a movement much bigger than herself. >> one of the bravest girls in the world. >> she was a student who wanted to learn but now she's fighting to live. >> what had this girl done to make this stranger so angry? so afraid and so violent? she had said something.
something dangerous. something powerful. something important. she had said that all girls should be in school. all girls everywhere. and that's an idea that scares some people. because when girls do go to school, when they learn, things change fast. knowledge is power. and ignorance, ignorance is the enemy of change. but change is coming. and we are the change.
this is wadley. she's 8 years old. she plays herself in the story from her own life that you are about to see. just like the other girls you will meet. selma, soma, mariama and esmera. two others who we'll call yasmin and amina could not appear in their stories out of concern for their safety. each of these girls was paired with a writer from her own country to help tell her story. these are true stories. if sometimes reimagined to capture the things these girls and these writers want you to
see. and their stories are important because these girls hold our future in their hands. if they and the millions of girls like them succeed in getting the kind of education they need, incredible things will happen. for them, for their families, for their community, for their country, for all of us. but here's the hard truth. in spite of the fact that educating a girl is one of the highest return investments available in the developing world, there are 66 million girls out of school. so what exactly changes when girls in the developing world get a good education? everything.
>> the morning of january 12th, 2010, was bright and beautiful. in a way that wadley could not remember any other morning ever having been before. it was the dry season when wildflowers bloomed and flowers that bloomed on their own without rain fascinated some little girls. it made impossible things seem possible. unachievable things appear doable. and the flowers, the hibiscus, the azaleas, the burganvileas, they all looked even brighter
when wadley was happy. >> wadley! wadley! wadley! >> that morning, wadley was working to memorize the final speech as he was removed from haiti by the french after he tried to win independence for the country. wadley liked to imagine herself defiant like brave st. liverture. but she also wished she had been given some words by women to
recite. brave and strong women, like her mother. >> every day wadley brought two snacks from her mother's tray. one for herself and one for another child. ♪ that day, she chose a new friend, shelda. a girl whose father had been killed the week before. he was a taxi driver and someone had gotten into his car with a gun and asked him to get out. he had refused and the person had shot him. soon the moment came for wadley and her classmates to recite their quotes from the history
could think was it was the dry season when wildflowers bloomed. and these words seemed a perfect beginning for her composition. and a fitting book end to her day. for they seemed to emerge somehow out of the dream that she had been having that morning. [ female announcer ] think all pads are the same? don't.
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to learn more, visit coke.com/comingtogether (girl) w(guy) dive shop.y? (girl) diving lessons. (guy) we should totally do that. (girl ) yeah, right. (guy) i wannna catch a falcon! (girl) we should do that. (guy) i caught a falcon. (guy) you could eat a bug. let's do that. (guy) you know you're eating a bug. (girl) because of the legs. (guy vo) we got a subaru to take us new places. (girl) yeah, it's a hot spring. (guy) we should do that. (guy vo) it did. (man) how's that feel? (guy) fine. (girl) we shouldn't have done that. (guy) no. (announcer) love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. samsung galaxy s4.was
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wadley could not remember how she and her mother got to the open field near the university. it was still the dry season, but wildflowers no longer bloomed. in the tent camp, she often heard the most dazed of the adults say, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. this, they said, when they were finally resigned to the fact that their missing loved ones would never be coming back. life tried to return to normal, except now her mother ran the city during the day looking for friends and family from whom to seek help. and instead of school, wadley went to the water fountain with
>> mama. mama. >> money was still not completely clear to wadley. she knew that there was never enough of it. that some people had more of it than others, and that it determined in many cases how people looked at you and talked to you and treated you. it was the reason some people ate three meals every day while others ate every couple of days.
it was why she was learning now that some kids went to school and others did not. >> bye-bye, mommy. >> the next morning, wadley decided that she would go to school and sit on the bench in front of madam laurie with the others, no matter there was no money. that's what she would do. >> for a moment, wadley wondered
how madam roy couldn't recognize her. but the earthquake had twisted a lot of people's minds. many people did not even recognize themselves anymore. >> wadley decided that even though money could do many things, it was also a curse because only a cursed thing could keep her out of school. but she was not cursed. hadn't she been hearing from her mother and the others in the tent camp that those who had survived the earthquake were
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♪ girls who go to school see immediate benefits beyond the things they are learning. being a student enhances their status in the community. it makes them safer. but in the developing world, getting an education is not what people expect girls to do. girls are expected to work. expected to fetch water. to care for younger children. to get jobs. or worse. it happens to girls like souma.
her parents didn't send her to school. they sent her to work. it's called canlari. ♪ >> i write songs to remind myself that my memories are real. and often because there's so much sadness behind me, what comes out is sad. both of my parents were bonded as comlari in their childhood. that's the way things have been around here. that's the way they have been for the poor. you have to bond yourself to a master, otherwise, how will you live?
miller. he made me work from 4:00 in the morning until late at night. i had to clean the house and wash the dishes and go to the forest to fetch firewood. when i wasn't minding the goats, i had to mind the children. the goats were nicer. the daughters made fun of me because my clothes were torn. they teased me. they beat me. i wanted my mother and father to take me back. i wanted them to let me stay at home and go to school like my brother. but when i thought about how poor they were and how much they, too, had suffered, it made me feel weak. i couldn't ask.
this was the house of my second master. jonna camala wore a uniform to work. he and the mistress of the house were very unhearted. unlucky girl, they used to call me. hey, unlucky girl, do this, they'd shout. they made me sleep in the goat shed and wear rags and eat scraps from their dirty plates. i can't really talk about everything that happened to me here, but i will never forget. this is where i began to write songs. only the songs got me through.
this was the house of my third master. i was 11 years old when i arrived at chitai's house. i had been a comlari for five years. it wasn't as bad here. i mean it was bad because there was a lot of work, but there was a ladra in that house, a schoolteacher. he changed my life. he convinced my master and mistress to enroll me in a night class. all of us would gather after finishing our day's work, and we would learn to read and write.
i loved that night class so much. it was run by social workers for girls just like me. comlaris. we would also talk to the teachers about what it was like to be a comlari. and as we talked, we began to realize that bonded labor was, and isn't it, slavery. the teachers who ran the night class began to go from house to hou house. they wanted to liberate us. one teacher told my master that he was breaking the law by keeping me as a comlari. she talked about the law against bonded labor and the law about
children's rights. and the law on labor rights. and the law against domestic violence and trafficking. she talked to him about justice and injustice. and she demanded that he set me free. my master said no. once made, a bond couldn't be broken. she didn't give up. she kept arguing. she came back day after day and in the end, she led me home to my mother and father. i am my own master now. i have no mistress. i was the last bonded worker in my family.
after me, everyone will be free. i feel as though i have power. i feel like i can do anything. and i have important things to do. inside this house is a girl like i was. away from her parents working morning to night, wanting so badly to be free. we have come to this house, the house of her master, to say we know you have a comlari working for you. you must set her free.
♪ i've seen where change comes from. when it comes, it's like a song you can't hold back. suddenly, there's a breath moving through you and you are singing. and others pick up the tune and start singing, too. and a sweet melody goes out into the world and touches the heart of one person. then another. and another.
>> the practice of comlari has been illegal in nepal since 2000. >> look to the lens and smile. >> with the help of girls like suma, it's finally coming to an end. for suma, it is not enough that she herself is free. she's using her education to make sure all girls are getting to school. mom, dad told me that cheerios is good for your heart, is that true? says here that cheerios has whole grain oats that can help remove some cholesterol, and that's heart healthy. ♪ [ dad ] jan?
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roundabout, he turned off. we didn't know where he was going. he said don't worry, that it was a fast way. i got scared and ran away, but aya was not scared. >> we got to his house. i saw that his wife was there, too, so i didn't think anything bad would happen. he told her to bring smus drius drinks and then leave us alone. there was juice like he promised, but it wasn't good.
it tasted sour. he was drinking some beer, and i don't like it when people drink beer, so i got up to leave. but he stopped me and said he would take me home. we got back in the cart but he didn't take me home. he -- he took me to a very dark place. he told me he would not hurt me but that he wanted to be with me. he wanted -- and i said -- i told him i was not an ordinary girl. that i was a superhero, that i am powerful. but he did not believe me. he drew his sword and told me it was time that i should fight for my honor. and i told him that i did not want to kill him. because a true hero does not
kill. he swung his sword at me, but i was too fast for him. i drew my knife from beneath my clothes n let him feel the sharpness of my blade. he was strong, but i was stronger. he was fast, but i -- i was faster. i wanted to teach him a lesson. to show him that girls are -- that we -- he just -- this man, he was a bad man. he left me no choice. we fought in that dark place for a long time. he begged for me to -- to spare him. so i spared his life.
>> 50% of all the sexual assaults in the world are on girls under 15. 50%. the risk of sexual assault is one reason parents keep girls at home or marry them off young. the man who raped yasmin is still free. she has never been to school, cannot read or write, and did we mention she's 13 years old. (girl) what does that say? (guy) dive shop. (girl) diving lessons. (guy) we should totally do that. (girl ) yeah, right. (guy) i wannna catch a falcon! (girl) we should do that. (guy) i caught a falcon. (guy) you could eat a bug. let's do that. (guy) you know you're eating a bug. (girl) because of the legs. (guy vo) we got a subaru to take us new places.
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and with double miles you can actually use, you never miss the fun. beard growing contest and go! ♪ i win! what's in your wallet? samsung galaxy s4.was telling you about, it's got a huge screen, does all kinds of cool stuff. and if you buy it here, you get a $50 walmart gift card. man, i gotta have this! get the latest smart phones on at&t's 4g lte network, and get a $50 gift card. walmart. relax, kel! it's not like anyone else is gonna have... ...the exact same... -...idea that popped... -...into my head. -how you know... -...no one else... -...has thought... -...of it, harry? because they haven't, kelly. it's totally original. it's one in a gazillion. -oh, really? -really? really? it's idiotproof. it's a real moneymaker. and thank goodness i put it online first. more champagne, sir? more everything, sky waitress. [ laughter ] [ male announcer ] don't wait. register your big idea as a .co domain at go daddy.
there are angels. there are beliefs to challenge, wishes to be fulfilled. and here is a girl named azmera. feet grounded in ethiopian soil. and a young girl's life. her eyes turn toward possibility. azmera, named for harvest, golden crops, bounty, loved by family. intensely curious, painfully shy, stubborn and kind. not yet 14. trapped. look up. there are myths among the
clouds. a myth about a boy locked in a prison tower with his father. a famous maker of labyrinths. a father made his son wings from wax and feathers and told him to fly out of the window to freedom. don't fly too close to the sun, he warned. the wax will melt and you will fall. but the boy rose up, flew too high, then fell to the ground. the burning sun, the only witness to his descent. this is a myth. this is a lesson about limits. it reminds us that man was not meant to fly. we cannot reach the sun with wings crafted from feathers and wax and desperation.
but look. here is azmera. she is in a life that is not a myth, living in a world with its own limits. she is the only living daughter of atenish. my sister, she is called. atenish was once the wife of a loving man and the mother of three. a son and two daughters. azmera, her youngest. her life was full. then her husband died. and then her eldest daughter. and atenish became a widow and a grieving mother left with nothing to remind her of those she lost.
no photographs. no drawings. no letters. what she has is azmera. and an older son. a young man who loves his sister with the same devotion as their mother. what she's left with is the determination to give her surviving children what she can. the elders warned atenish that azmera, too, would die, unless she was married young. give her hand, she was told. give her possibility. a chance to live. how much fear can one woman carry? how many children can she stand to bury? so when a man 20 years old and a stranger came to ask for azmera's hand, atenish opened
the door and let him in. she turned to the man and said, here is my daughter, and she held azmera and said, here is a chance. here is possibility. go. in ethiopia, this is how it was done when atenish was a girl. and when her own mother was a child. and when her grandmother was barely old enough to do more than play and fetch water. here it is said that if a girl is married too young, she is in danger of being split by her husba husband. 13 is considered to be a safe age, though the law says 18. girls as young as 7 have been married. what does it mean to split a
girl. it's like tearing a photo down the middle while each half witnesses the making of a ghost. what if a girl's life could be more. what if a mother's hopes could mean something? what if a boy could look up into the sun without falling? look at this young man? he is not a myth. he is not a stranger to failed dreams. meselu was the son to a dying father. he left school at 7 years old to do the work of an adult. a farmer who wants nothing more than to be able to read. he once tried to leap past the edge of his world and fly away from it all. but here is the heart of a man
strong enough to return to his mother and his sister. he was in the fields working the day the man came for azmera's hand. he walked into the house and saw strangers talking to atenish and he knew what was happening. each of our stories pivot on a single moment. that short pause between what is and what could be. in a breath, we can decide between what we wish to be true and what we can make happen. meselu said he would sell everything he owned to keep his sister in school, to give her the gift of a life with choices, to give her chances he never had. he told atenish, no.
and azmera stepped forward and told her mother, i want a better life. together they refused this marriage. i want to tell azmera the most important parts of this story about a boy trapped in a tower. the same son that brought this boy down raises you up and gives you strength. you can go as far and as high as you want as you are able to dream. it is not ambition that destroys us. it is not hope that will lead us
astray. you're a girl who has used her voice to say no. and every time you open a book, you continue your journey forward and up. we are from a country full of split girls. we must reach out with firm hands and hold them until the pieces fit again. you are showing them how to live by letting them hear you say i want a choice. and this life is mine to make. this is how it happens. one girl follows behind the other until together they move forward, towards something. a future.
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