Over 100 Girl Scouts attended a recent screening of selected portions of the award-winning documentary “Girl Rising” in Oakton to earn the Global Action award. In 2008, a team of former ABC journalists set out to answer the question: How do you end global poverty? They discovered that educating girls is the single best way to achieve that goal.

Girl Scout leader Sara Holtz spearheaded the showing of “Girl Rising” which is composed of vignettes of several girls, including those from Nepal, Ethiopia, and Afghanistan, and their daily struggles. Ms. Holtz also gave a PowerPoint presentation that further explained some of the hardships that many girls face in developing countries. For example, we learned that many African girls carry their babies on their backs, as they do hard chores such as farming. Also, many girls in developing countries walk 3.5 miles or more per day in order to obtain water supplies. Most demoralizing, however, was the common notion that girls in developing countries were expected to marry and have children at very young ages and not expected to continue their education.

“’Girl Rising” showed, however, some inspiring girls in developing countries who were determined to shatter that outdated notion and, instead, continue their educations. Ms Holtz shared experiences abroad as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, a country in West Africa, to commemorate Peace Corps Week.

Food donations were collected for the local food bank Food for Others and feminine hygiene products were collected for the BRAWS nonprofit organization, Bringing Resources to Aid Women’s Shelters. BRAWS provides women in the DC Metro area with essential supplies that help them go about their lives with dignity and fulfill their potential. More information about BRAWS can be found at www.braws.org

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