Today, more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school. Yet we know when girls have access to education and the life skills to make their voices heard and their choices respected, they don’t just transform their own lives; they transform their families, their countries, and our world.
That's why it's so crucial to highlight the individuals and organizations championing the lives of adolescent girls. Together with Michelle Obama and the Girls Opportunity Alliance, YouTube Originals wanted to create a dynamic content moment to spark a conversation around the global state of girls education, the value of education, and drive action amongst viewers.
In December of 2019, the YouTube Originals team flew to Vietnam with Mrs. Obama to film her visit to a Room to Read project in Vietnam. Mrs. Obama was accompanied by celebs like Julia Roberts, Jenna Bush-Hager, Lana Condor, and Youtube creator Liza Koshy to the Can Giuoc school in Long An Province to meet members of the Girls Opportunity Alliance community who are working hard to pursue their education, and local leaders from Room to Read who are providing them crucial support to stay in school.
Additionally, YouTube Originals sent Liza, along with fellow YouTube creators Prajakta Koli (MostlySane) and Thembe Mahlaba (Pap Culture) to different countries to highlight the work being done globally to help further girls' education. The special highlights the stories of local girls in India, Vietnam, and Namibia, who are overcoming adversities to pursue their education, and shine a light on the non-profits and grassroots leaders making it possible for them to achieve their dreams.
Finally, after visiting with students in their designated country, the creators gathered for a filmed roundtable conversation with Mrs. Obama. They each shared with Mrs. Obama what they observed in the countries they visited and the inspiring stories of the students they met abroad:
Ha, a Room to Read Girls' Education Program participant in Vietnam
H'Hen Nie, Miss Universe Vietnam 2017 and Room to Read Ambassador
Dzung, a Room to Read Girls' Education Program alumna who is running her own business and giving back to the next generation of girls in her community.
And many more!
On March 17th, in conjunction with Women’s History Month, Youtube Originals launched Youtube Creators for Change on Girls’ Education with Michelle Obama on the YouTube Originals channel. The hour-long documentary, which was produced by Vox and directed by Joanna Forscher, is accompanied by 3 “mini-docs” from featured creators Liza Koshy, Prajakta Koli, and Thembe Mahlaba on each of their channels. YouTube Originals also commissioned an additional 9 creators who received microgrants to create shorter videos on subjects relating to girls’ education. These ancillary videos discussed issues ranging from police presence in schools to accessibility tools for disabled students to mental health resources.
Since its release, the special has been viewed over 11 million times, with several million more views across its 12 ancillary videos. Reception has been overwhelmingly positive.
Via the Youtube Giving integration across the videos, we were able to drive donations to Michelle Obama’s Girls Opportunity Alliance. a program of the Obama Foundation. The initiative seeks to empower adolescent girls around the world through education, allowing them to achieve their full potential and transform their families, communities, and countries. They engage people around the world to take action to help adolescent girls and the grassroots leaders working to educate them.