Twelve-year old Lucia's dream is to be able to graduate to secondary school, and stay there - to finish the 12th grade and go on to train as a pilot. Her older sister Barita wants to do computer studies. And Portia, the youngest in the family, wants to be a dressmaker.
But tragically for these three sisters from one of Zimbabwe's large scale commercial farms, in tobacco country 50 miles outside Harare, they're more likely to end up -- as their mothers before them -- with no formal education, working as seasonal laborers on the farm. The three sisters are AIDS orphans being brought up by their grandmother. She can only afford school fees for one girl, Lucia, to attend primary school.
Across Africa, the odds are dramatically against girls getting an education. And even if they do attend primary school, they're often withdrawn before they finish -- to work as unpaid laborers for their extended family, to be married off or to have children. Only one in four school age girls in Burkina Faso ever attends school.
Across the continent only 24 percent of girls actually complete primary school, compared to 65-70% for boys. As Harry Sawyer, Minister for Education in Ghana, wrote in a recent UNICEF report, the obstacles to girls' education are the same as those that undermine economic and social development everywhere "but in the end, all the reasons add up to one: insufficient will."
The producer of this program has collected extensive resources at www.tve.org/life/archive/life25main.html
The other titles in the series are:
1. Life: The Story So Far - How the globalized world economy affects ordinary people.
2. Geraldo Off-Line - Globalized economy affects Brazilian factory worker.
3. From Docklands to Dhaka - English MD travels to Bangladesh to improve community health.
4. An Act of Faith: The Phelophepa Health Train - A group of health professionals tours the most deprived regions of South Africa providing care.
5. The Philadelphia Story - Globalized economy affects American jobs.
6. The Boxer - Young male looks to escape Mexican poverty by becoming a boxer in the United States.
7. The Seattle Syndrome - Were the WTO protesters right in their effort to protect workers and the environment from exploitation?
8. The Right to Choose - Women are denied human rights in Ethiopia and northern Nigeria.
9. At the End of a Gun: Women and War - The devastating effect that the civil war in Sri Lanka is having on women.
10. The Summit - The UN General Assembly meets to review progress on social justice worldwide.
11. All Different, All Equal - Examines progress in women's rights globally.
12. India Inhales - Activists combat tobacco companies that target India.
13. The Silver Age - Growing population of elderly worldwide seeks purpose and care.
14. The Cost of Living - AIDS drugs unaffordable in developing countries.
15. The Posse - Rap group in Sao Paulo, Brazil, expresses social problems.
16. Credit Where Credit is Due - Micro-credit organization in Bangladesh provides loans to village poor.
17. Regopstaan's Dream - Bushmen fight to live on ancestral land in South Africa.
18. Untouchable? - The caste system and bonded labor are still alive and well in India.
19. Because They're Worth It - Micro-credit, education, health information, and hope provided to impoverished Chinese.
20. For a Few Pennies More - Iodine deficiency causes health problems in Indonesia.
21. In the Name of Honour - Kurdish women fight for their rights in Northern Iraq.
22. God Among the Children - Community organization works with at-risk youth in Boston.
23. Without Rights - Palestinians are denied human rights.
24. Lost Generations - Poor health and poverty condemn people in India to sub-standard lives.
26. A-OK? - Examines prospects for Vitamin A distribution programs in Guatemala and Ghana necessary for children's health.
27. Bolivian Blues - Explores the success of new initiative to reduce widespread poverty.
28. The Outsiders - Explores the moral and economic dilemmas that adolescents face in the Ukraine today.
29. The Debt Police - Uganda seeks external debt relief and fights internal corruption.
30. The On-going Story - Final episode examines the international community's commitment to linking social and economic development with human rights.
NOTE: A second series called City Life is now available.
Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2000
Copyright Date: 2000
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-489-3
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-874-X