What is the connection between ConnectHER & Girls Impact the World Film Festival?
Girls Impact the World film festival is the premiere program of ConnectHER. Think of ConnectHER as the parent organization of GITWFF. ConnectHER has several programs going on throughout the year which focus on elevating the status of women and girls around the world such as:
Support a Home for Children of Sex Workers in Bangladesh
Hazera Begum is determined to give her children the bright future that every child deserves. While that may not sound extraordinary—what mother doesn't want that for her children?--it is when you learn that this Bangladeshi woman is the mother of 40 children, most the children of sex workers in bustling Dhaka.
Hazera understands their plight because she has lived it herself. After she ran away from home at the age of 8 to flee an abusive stepmother, she eventually was forced into sex work to survive. She has never forgotten the daily struggle for dignity and safety that is the lot of sex workers and their children.
Without Hazera's care, many of these children would be left on the streets while their mothers work, where they would be exposed to drugs, violence, and harassment. She is determined to raise them right and give them an education.
We first met Hazera when we saw the film The Superhero With a Cape, Shafiqua Oishi’s entry in the 2018 Girls Impact the World Film Festival. In the film, we see her cuddle a young child, joke with a group of children and beam proudly about how well her children are doing at school. Many mothers would feel frazzled caring for 40 boys and girls, but she approaches her work with the joy of someone who has found her calling.
- Many sex workers in Bangladesh live in poverty and are homeless. Children left on the streets are vulnerable to drugs and exploitation.
- Bangladesh requires a father’s name on a birth certificate to admit a child to school, which discriminates against the children of sex workers.
- Hazera sends several of her children to one of the country’s best boarding schools for girls.
Send Girls to School with our Girls Global Education Fund
Each year, when you send your children off to school, take a moment to think about the fate of the 62 million girls around the world who are not in school. In 2016 Bangladeshi filmmaker Pooja Khati submitted a short film called Asma to the Girls Impact the World Film Festival. The film is a portrait of one girl in Chittagong who, like millions of girls around the world, was not in school because she had to work long hours to help her family. The film inspired Connecther to create the Girls Global Education Fund, which offers scholarship funds to several financially challenged girls each year. The film also changed one girl’s life: The subject of the film, Asma, was the first recipient of the fund and is now getting the education she dreamed of. “Just imagine, says Khati, “with minimal knowledge of filmmaking and making videos, I could impact a girl’s life.”
Facts (Source: USAID):
- An extra year of secondary school for girls can increase their future earnings by 10-20%.
- Girls with secondary schooling are up to 6 times less likely to marry as children than those with little or no education.
- If India enrolled 1% percent more girls in secondary school, their GDP would rise by $5.5 billion.