Nancy Tomee is a CGEF (formerly the CCLEF) sponsored girl who is fighting against Female Genital Mutilation (FMG).
This is a special short documentary on Nancy and education, specially made for the CGEF. Nancy: A One Girl Revolution is the story of Nancy Tomee (20), who for the last decade has fought her family, her tribe and deeply held traditions in Kenya. A brilliant speaker and a fearless taboo breaker she is leading a girl revolution - yet she’s still a schoolgirl. She wants to stop Female Genital Mutilation and promote equality for girls. Filmed over five years, this is the intimate story of her emerging as a leader - an African Suffragist facing the enormous task of transforming her tribe.
An unusual heroine, Nancy’s journey takes her from a mud hut in a remote part of Kenya to addressing the United Nations in New York at the General Assembly. This is Nancy’s true story told in a feature length observational documentary. It will make visible in intimate detail the lives of women who rarely, if ever, are heard. The battleground for Nancy is women’s ownership of their bodies and voices. There will be an impact campaign attached to help eradicate FGM and empower more female role models. The film is still being made but we do need your support to continue. Nancy's story is powerful and unique, and when you see the documentary, you can see why it had to be told.
The producer told us in her own moving words what prompted her to produce this film. "When in 2010 I walked into Nancy’s parents' compound, high on a far hill, miles away from any roads or modern amenities, I realised that within Nancy was a deep desire for change. This came from the knowledge that the life her mother suffered was abusive. It suffocated her potential, and even if it was ‘normal’ and traditional, it was wrong. She is in many ways an African Suffragist, for the themes of her desires are the same - equality and education for women and an end to the abuse. What astonished me then, and still does now, is where she found the courage to resist everyone and have such certainty about doing so."
"I could see the passion burning inside her. I had to tell her story; I could see she was on an archetypal journey of transformation and awakening to her own power - but not to empower herself, but to help others. I felt a real kinship with her which seemed to transcend race, culture and generation. When she found her voice she helped others find theirs; she chose to own her own body and sexuality as a woman which was very unusual for women in her tribe."
"The film will tease out Nancy’s connections to a much wider voice in which women are emerging to challenge the old political paradigms all over the world and demanding the inclusion of women to shape the world into a better place. Nancy has no idea of these global movements to get the feminine voice heard as a balance to the masculine yet I believe Nancy is part of this awakening of women everywhere. In the film I hope to show how we have far more in common with Nancy’s story than we at first imagine. The fears about women may be magnified in Nancy’s tribe but the same dynamics play out in more subtle ways across the western world. Nancy’s culture magnifies issues that are just less extreme within our own culture, and I want people to feel the empathy and connection I have with her from the film. That way, her story spreads to a much wider audience and her impact can be profound and positive."
The CCLEF, in collaboration with the India Association for the Blind, is sponsoring five blind girls at St Amalarakkini school in Tamil Nadu, India.
The CCLEF has also undertaken to sponsor an additional five girls in 2016 and 2017 bringing the total number of blind girls sponsored in that school to 15.
In India, Tamil Naud is the 11th largest state by area and the sixth most populous state.
The photos show CCLEF Trustee Anne Munt Davies who attended the opening ceremony of the new residential block, named in honour of Niti Patel, on 21 March 2015.
Niti's husband, DK Patel, pictured with Anne, raised the funds for the building with friends and supporters based in Hong Kong.
You are Invited !
Run by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883, the Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s largest schools’ international writing competition and is open to all young people aged 18 and under. This year’s theme, 'A Young Commonwealth', recognises that young people account for the majority of the Commonwealth’s population and play a vital role in shaping the world that we live in, now and in years to come.
The Royal Commonwealth Society is inviting young people to share their hopes and concerns for the future, thereby generating an important youth perspective and Commonwealth wide dialogue as the international community gathers to set development goals for the next 15 years.
The 2015 competition invites young people to submit essays relating to this year’s theme, 'A Young Commonwealth’. The Queen’s Essay Competition 2015 is run by the Royal Commonwealth Society in partnership with Cambridge University Press.
The closing date for entries is May 1st 2015. Further information can be found at www.thercs.org/youth.
Twitter: @The RCSLondon
We visit our girls - Louisa Service, Patron of the CCL and Trustee of CCLEF (third from right), with sponsored girls in Grenada