The First Trip to Dadaab
by Martha Adams
Girl Rising has partnered with the International Rescue Committee, Citi, HP and Amplifier to create a film and campaign around the story of one courageous young woman named Nasro. Brave Girl Rising, to be released this March on International Women’s Day, is written by the poet laureate and social media phenom Warsan Shire and narrated by actress Tessa Thompson (Selma, Creed, and the upcoming Men in Black International). In our previous blog posts, we talked about the refugee crisis and introduced you to Warsan Shire and Girl Rising. Today’s blog takes us to Dadaab, as Martha Adams, who directed the film with Richard E. Robbins, discusses her first trip there.
As a Somali refugee, Warsan Shire had her own very personal reasons to choose Dadaab Refugee Camp as the location of our film, but when I arrived I knew this was where Girl Rising belonged. It was surely one of the toughest places in the world to be a girl.
Dadaab, for girls, is not safe. Forced marriage is not unusual for girls as young as 13, food is scarce, water access is unreliable, and life expectancy for women, according to staff inside the Labor and Delivery ward of the hospital, is only 52 years old. Making a film here would be one of the hardest challenges we’ve faced.
The IRC Makes it Livable
We flew in to Dadaab on a United Nations charter airplane and landed on a runway just 60 miles from the Somali border; the only bit of paved road for miles.