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WATCH: Growing Up Girl on the Other Side of the World

Zoe Romanowsky - published on 04/30/16 - updated on 06/07/17

Meanwhile, what did YOU accomplish today?

Every day, 10 year-old Monica, who lives in a small village on the border of Tanzania and Kenya near Mount Kilimanjaro, does the same thing: She wakes up early and walks for many miles to collect muddy water for her family’s drinking and washing supply. Then she walks more miles to get to school, which she loves, and on her way back collects firewood so her mother can cook the evening meal. After chores are done, Monica hikes alone in the dark to a nearby town to find a light source so she can do her homework. It might be the side of a building, or in a half-lit alleyway, but Monica will not be deterred. She knows her education is the only way forward to a different kind of life.

This beautiful short film, made in partnership between Bono’s ONE Campaign and RYOT, captures the challenges young girls like Monica face when they work to obtain what many of us in the west take for granted. Monica’s determination and perseverance is not only inspirational, but a sign of hope. In sub-Sahara Africa, about 30 million children don’t attend school — and around 54 percent of them are young girls. The longer a girl remains in school, the better chance she has for survival, as well as for avoiding marriage and pregnancy as a child or teenager. Educate a girl and you can break the cycle of poverty.

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