Bringing the power of stories to the DRC, India & Nigeria!

We’ve always used the power of storytelling to change the way the world values girls.

Now, with the support of USAID, the Intel Corporation, Vulcan Productions, and a number of private donors, Girl Rising’s ENGAGE (Empowering Next Generations to Advance Girls’ Education) project is taking these stories to some of the places in the world where it is most difficult to be a girl.

Places where our stories can help people do two very important things: imagine a different future for girls and believe that everyone has an important role in helping them rise.

In each ENGAGE country, customized local language versions of the Girl Rising film are being used to raise awareness about the positive benefits that come when girls are educated and ignite community-led change in cities, towns and villages across our target countries.

This innovative multi-year effort aims to create a better world by:

  • Increasing awareness of and attention to the importance of a good education and the barriers girls often face.
  • Mobilizing men, women and youths to take concrete actions to help girls attain quality primary and secondary education.
  • Engaging cultural influencers, corporate and government leaders to build an enabling environment for girls, promoting policy change and financial investment in their education.

The Countries

ENGAGE aims to demonstrate that high-quality, multimedia tools and resources, deployed strategically, will build stronger social movements and advance a future where every girl has the opportunity to go to school, stay in school and succeed in school.


Though huge strides have been made in education since independence, there are still 8 million children out of school, and the literacy rate for girls is as much as 20 points below that of boys. By not educating girls equally, India misses out on potential economic growth of about $33 billion dollars per year.

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The Democratic Republic of Congo:

After decades of conflict and political instability, 7.3 million children are out of school in the DRC, and over 3.8 million of them are girls.

Three out of four girls will start school, but only half will complete primary school, a rate much lower than that for boys. The situation is worse in rural areas where 36% of girls (age 7-16) have no access to schooling at all. More than 50% of the women in the DRC have suffered physical or sexual violence and far too many continue to face oppression and deeply embedded discrimination.

For the future of DRC, this translates into exaggerated symptoms of extreme poverty for women and economically dis-empowers half of Congo’s potential labor force.


Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and home to the largest number of out-of-school children in the world. Literacy rates for females stand at 41% compared to 61% for males. In some northern Nigerian States, only 22% of girls complete primary school, less than 33% can read a sentence, and over half will be married by the time they are 16.

Girl’s education is critical for the future of Nigeria: investing in girls’ education and opportunities could increase Nigeria’s GDP by 1.2% in a single year and break generational cycles of poverty.