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The Global Search for Education: Director C. Dallas Golden on Women in Africa Using Their Skills to Change Communities

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This month on the Planet Classroom Network YouTube Channel, audiences can screen C. Dallas Golden’s short film Girls Like Us – the story of a bright, young Tanzanian woman, Winnie, who discovers a passion for computer science.

In Tanzania, women are expected to stay home, cook, clean, and take care of the children while their husbands are away at work. Like a typical teenager, Winnie needed an outlet for her curious mind and in 2013, she joined Apps and Girls, an organization that teaches young girls how to code their own websites. Carolyne Ekyarisiima, the founder of Apps and Girls, became her mentor. Today, because of the program and Carolyne’s mentorship, Winnie has started her own NGO, has become the mentor to countless young women in Tanzania, and is on her way to the prestigious African Leadership Academy in South Africa with dreams of becoming a computer scientist.

C. Dallas Golden’s extensive experience in film along with his strong vision and compassion for human rights issues are evident in his work to date. “Telling stories has been my passion since early in my life,” he says.

The Global Search for Education is pleased to welcome C. Dallas Golden.

Dallas, gender roles have long been a societal norm. However, many in Africa are ready to challenge those traditional roles by giving better education to young girls and exposing them to the world of tech. Do you think boys in Africa feel intimidated by this? If so, how do you plan on handling the situation?

From what I could tell from our time in Africa to film “Girls Like Us”, the boys that we encountered didn’t see the girls as intimidating, but as fellow coders learning new skills. I really feel that the younger generations in Africa are excited to change the norms.

Many girls look up to the mentors in the Apps and Girls Program. Do you feel pressure to be a good role model and how do you deal with it? 

I try to live my life as if someone is always looking, and would I be proud of what someone sees. It was a pleasure working with the Apps and Girls Program, and it’s even more amazing to see their pupils growing and changing the world.

What are the most popular career choices for girls in Africa? Do you know why they choose these particular paths?

Honestly, I do not know the answer to this question. Our time in Africa was limited to just a month total, and there were many career paths that I saw girls choose, not just what would be construed as popular. One such individual I met during my time there was a manager at a coastal resort. She was planning on buying the property from the owner so that she could own her own vacation resort. I think that there are so many more career paths for all the people of Africa than there were previously and that it really is just a matter of one’s desires and goals.

What do you believe are the main takeaways for your audience in your film?  How do you hope your film will make a difference?

During our time in Africa, I was personally blown away by the things the girls in the program were doing with their lives and to better their communities. When I was their age, I wouldn’t have thought about doing some of the things they are doing for their communities. And I really hope that by highlighting what they are doing to better themselves and their communities in our film, we will inspire people to reach for their dreams. I think the main takeaway for audiences of our film is that nothing is impossible if you have the right help in reaching your goals, but remember your community and do something good.

Thank you Dallas.

C.M. Rubin and C. Dallas Golden

This month on the Planet Classroom Network YouTube Channel, audiences can screen C. Dallas Golden’s short film Girls Like Us – the story of a bright young Tanzanian woman, Winnie, who discovers a passion for computer science.

This content was originally published here.

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