Demonstrating its commitment to empower women and girls, Spark! Philippines in partnership with the Araneta Center and the J. Amado Araneta Foundation celebrated Women’s Day through a Women and Girls Rights Forum and an official screening of Girl Rising from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon last March 8 at the Cinema 5 of the Gateway Mall at the Araneta Center, Quezon City.
“Our goal is for girls to believe in the power of their dreams and for women to find the courage to realize that they can succeed in anything that makes their hearts soar” said Jenny Lind Elmaco, Executive Director of Spark! Philippines and Girl Rising Ambassador for the Philippines.

The Girl Rising documentary is a groundbreaking feature film which spotlights the stories of nine brave girls born into unforgiving circumstances. The film captures their dreams, their voices and their remarkable lives. It is also a movement dedicated to empowering and achieving educational equity for girls around the world.

Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) gave the film a G rating (General Audience).“ This is a powerful documentary meant to empower girls, very fitting to be shown during International Women’s Day. It should be seen by all audiences” cited the MTRCB Review Committee.

SPARK’s aim to nurture Filipino women began with an inspiring message from Ms. Victoria Garchitorena, Chief of Party of the Phil-Am Fund, USAID managed by the Gerry Roxas Foundation.

Ms. Czarina Medina-Guce,(Executive Director, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines), Mr.Brian Poe- Llamanzares (Head of the Research Team,Office Senator Grace Poe- Llamanzares) and Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman (Founder, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement) also gave their inspiring talks to the women and girls.

Binibining Pilipinas candidates for 2014 pageant were also present on the event with the goal of strengthening their advocacies and finding their niche in the campaign for gender equality and inclusive development.

Ms. Kriszelle de Guzman-Halili, their representative was asked to give a short message in behalf of the candidates. “Dream big and be brave to turn it into a reality.” she said.

After the screening, attendees were asked to submit a proposal to ‘spark a change’ in their local communities. The project should address a specific issue that affects women/girls. The projects must also be spearheaded by and benefit women and girls, particularly those from vulnerable communities. Projects will be chosen every month and will be given seed money in the amount of Php 5,000.00. The winning group or individual will be given 2 months to implement the project and to submit a report immediately after.

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