Don’t Fail Us
Co-produced series of youth-led films on ending violence in schools
We are humans, we have rights, and we do not understand why we cannot go to school. My message to you is simple. We are not invisible… We are the future and we have the potential to change the world. – Jesus, Colombia
Violence against young people in and around schools affects 246 million young people around the world each year. We partnered with the Global Partnership and Fund to End Violence Against Children to co-produce Don’t Fail Us – a series of short films made with four young people who share their experiences of violence in and around schools.
Alongside global partners, we worked with young people across four different countries to tell their own stories in their own words. From Kenya and Sierra Leone to Colombia and Vietnam, each of them wrote a letter about ending violence in schools and called on world leaders to transform education systems so that they’re safe for everyone.
We say we have free education but how free is this education if it’s costing girls their dignity, their bodies, their mental health, and their future? – See Josephine’s story here.
I want to see schools where mental health issues are looked at just as any other physical challenges. And there will no longer be barriers, stigma or discrimination to stop us. – Follow Giang’s story here.
We are humans, we have rights, and we do not understand why we cannot go to school. My message to you is simple. We are not invisible… We are the future and we have the potential to change the world. – Find Jesus’ story here.
The perfect school for me is where there is no bullying, one where people will think differently, dress differently and look differently. – Listen to Falastin’s story here.
The first film (including all of the young people) was later screened to global leaders at the UN’s Transforming Education Summit in New York and, during the social media launch, the films had over 81,000 views and were shared on a number of accounts with a wide reach, including the main UN account.
Giang, one of the young people involved in the films, attended the summit in New York and spoke about her experiences of introducing the films to the audience:
…But do you know what was the most awesome thing during my trip? It was the fact that people LOVE our film so well! I received tons of compliments on the film and people said it’s likely to be the best short film they’ve ever seen for years. They love how it reflects reality, in such a relatable, truthful way…I got the chance to introduce it to the audience. And every time I did so, I felt so proud and appreciative of the film, of us, of everything.
The films have been powerful in spotlighting the issues that matter to young people with ministers, leaders and the education community and really helped focus attention in the political discussions on the topic of violence in schools.
Education Cannot Wait, Global Partnership for Education, Plan International, Purposeful, She Leads, Transform Education, UNESCO and UNICEF
Watch Don’t Fail Us – content warning: discussion of violence, sexual violence, discriminatory actions, suicide and eating disorders.