Last Friday, the girls’ leadership group watched an inspiring movie called ¡PODER! This powerful short film, produced by Let Girls Lead and directed by Lisa Russell, is based on the true story of two indigenous Mayan girls from Guatemala named Emelin and Elba who fought for their rights and transformed their community. Emelin and Elba were courageous leaders, and they advocated for legislation and funding to ensure that girls can go to school, stay healthy, and learn important skills to escape poverty.
Emelin and Elba started youth-focused programs in their town, which inspired an activity with our own girls’ leadership group and female staff members. After watching the movie, everyone split into groups to discuss different topics including:
- What challenges do teenage girls face when trying to accomplish their goals?
- How did the movie make you feel? What moved you and affected you the most?
- Do you feel like the young women in your community are heard or have an impact?
- What can you do and what can we all do to make a better world for women and girls?
All of the girls seemed to be very inspired by the film and the discussion sparked a lot of emotion from both the girls and the staff members. Like Emelin and Elba, many of the girls in the group are courageous leaders who strive to become agents of change in their communities.
In an interview with Elba she was asked, “What do you think is one of the most important things in the world that needs to be fixed?” She responded by saying, “The lack of educational opportunities and the discrimination against indigenous girls and women are the biggest barriers facing girls like me.”
Discrimination is something the girls fight against on a daily basis and Common Hope stands beside them, working to provide the education they need to carve a brighter future. Emelin, Elba, and all of the girls in the leadership group are living proof that change is possible and hope is real.
If you’d like to learn more about the film ¡PODER! or Emelin and Elba’s story, you can visit the film’s official website.