Since opening in theaters this March, the groundbreaking film Girl Rising and its real-life stars have helped fuel a movement. Bound by their mutual struggle to earn an education and united in courage, the nine young women in the film have invited audiences around the globe to hear their stories, serving as a call to action for all of the 600 million girls living in developing countries today—many of whom face similar struggles.
One of those stories belongs to Suma, one of more that 20,000 students currently enrolled in Room to Read’s Girls’ Education program. After being rescued from a life of indentured servitude at the age of 12, Suma is not only thriving in school, but actively involved as a community advocate, fighting to ensure more girls in Nepal stay where they belong: in school. “I’ve seen where change comes from,” says Suma in Girl Rising. “It’s like a song you can’t hold back.”
This Sunday, June 16, Girl Rising will bring Suma’s story and eight others to CNN in the film’s worldwide television premiere (CNN international will air the film on Saturday, June 22). In honor of the occasion, we bring you a special message from Nepal, courtesy of Reema Shrestha, Girls’ Education Program Manager. In the video, Reema encourages audiences around the globe to tune to Girl Rising and shines a light on the thousands of girls like Suma in Nepal who are now writing their own futures, with help from Room to Read:
In honoring Suma and the other brave young women in Girl Rising, all donations toward our Freedom to Dream campaign for Girls’ Education will be matched through June 23 (up to $850,000). To watch the film this week, check your local listings.