On March 22, Foothill’s Girl Up club hosted its second after-school event, a dinner and viewing of the movie “He Named Me Malala” inside Spirito Hall.
On March 22, Foothill’s Girl Up club hosted its second after-school event this year, a dinner and viewing of the movie “He Named Me Malala” inside Spirito Hall.
Dinner tickets were sold before the event with Milano’s Italian Restaurant catering and Girl Up club members working the buffet. While the dinner was a purchasable option, the movie viewing was free and open to the public.
In addition to dinner and a movie, Girl Up merchandise was sold near the stage of Spirito Hall and donation jars were centered at each table.
One aspect that surprised viewers were the Schoola bags dispersed among tables. The bags, distributed by the Schoola and partnered with the Malala fund, allow people to send their old clothes to a preassigned address for free. After shipping the package, Schoola will sell the unwanted clothes and 40 percent of the profit will help fund the education of girls in developing countries.
Sophomore Abigail Massar thought the event was “awesome” and she was “glad that Foothill advertised it during the school time, so that students could come watch this film with other students and really know the importance of girls’ education.”
Foothill humanities teacher Cherie Eulau commented on the importance of education to the youth.
“There’s a great book called, Poor Economics, that actually quantifies this, the more education a girl – woman – has, the better her life is. The fewer children she has – if she has any access to making that choice – and her life is always better, for lots of reasons, it is the key in lots of ways,” Eulau concluded.
Girl Up club member and senior Khaila Hartung-Dallas agreed with Eulau about the importance of education, yet took a different angle.
Hartung-Dallas believes that youth education is incredibly important. Without an education, life becomes harder and making important decisions that affect them and their community become more difficult, Hartung-Dallas said.
The struggle that young females have in developing countries is why there are organizations like The United Nations Foundation: Girl Up.
Senior Fidelity Ballmer, president of Foothill’s Girl Up club, hopes to raise 1,000 dollars for Girl Up and is very close to achieving it after recent events, such as fundraising at Skating Plus.
“The one thing that I think is really important to remember is that when you ask a girl in a developing country ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ kind of like what we saw in the movie, they have the exact same answers that any student in the United States would have,” Ballmer said.
“So it’s the same people, the same spark, the same drive, it’s just, because of stigma or because of prejudice or because of the society’s aspect or the way they look at women they’re never going to actually get there.” Ballmer continued.
One message Hartung-Dallas would want the audience to keep is, “that giving opportunities to girls is incredibly beneficial.”
After the event, Abigail Massar sees the Girl Up campaign in a different light.
“I was thinking about it last year but didn’t really know what it was about, now coming here, it’s like this would be a really awesome community of girls to be a part of,” Massar said.
Background and feature photo credit: Maizie Anders (used with permission).
Fidelity Ballmer is Editor-In-Chief of the Foothill Dragon Press and was not involved in the writing or editing of this article.