Children’s rights at forefront of free movie screening
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada brings award-winning documentary to Toronto audience
MARKHAM, Ont. — A captive audience saw life through the eyes of a child bride, experiencing the tragedy and then hopeful future of one girl who overcame the odds to start a new life, at a recent Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) movie-screening event in North York.
CCFC presented its ‘Movie for a Cause’ June 9 at Cineplex’s Empress Walk theatre. The award-winning documentary Driving with Selvi was shown to raise awareness to the issue and give an engaged audience a chance to talk to the filmmaker-director, Elisa Paloschi.
Selvi is a former child bride who escaped a violent marriage to become South India’s first female taxi driver. Paloschi, who became friends with and filmed Selvi’s life over a 10-year period, told the audience the experience changed her life.
Child, early and forced marriage is an issue that still exists around the world and many are still unaware of the fact that a third of all girls in the developing world are married before the age of 18, with a surprising one-in-nine married even before the age of 15.
Patrick Canagasingham, CCFC’s CEO, welcomed guests and explained the issue and why CCFC is dedicated to making children aware of their rights so they’re more involved in decisions that affect them.
“Selvi’s experience highlights the sad reality too many girls in India and around the world face for countless reasons — tradition, poverty and more. We’re working within vulnerable communities, with various stakeholders, to bring these girls and their rights to the forefront,” said Canagasingham. “We believe every child should have a voice and be free to achieve their full potential. It’s why we’re encouraged by women, like Selvi, who are showing positive change is possible.”
“The message of hope is portrayed beautifully through reality,” says Chirasree Sen-Verma, who attended the screening.
To learn more about CCFC and its work to on this issue, in the countries where it operates, visit ccfcanada.ca.
Uniting for change: (above, left to right) Patrick Canagasingham, CCFC’s CEO; Dr. Belinda Bennet, CCFC’s chief international programs officer; and Elisa Paloschi, director of Driving with Selvi are committed to raising awareness about the dangers of early, forced marriage.
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About Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-centred international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For nearly 60 years, CCFC has worked with children, communities, supporters and other partners — changing lives through improved health, education and clean water. CCFC works in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, to support more than 700,000 children, youth and community members.