Christellà’s call to stop abuse against young women

Razanamalala Christellà, a 16-year-old Malagasy girl, was among the top three winners of the 2018 One Minutes Jr. Awards presented in Amsterdam in November.

Christellà received a Tommy Award for her efforts to speak up about issues confronting young girls and women today, echoing a larger global movement. Her video Wonder Woman was selected from over 500 videos submitted by young people around the world.

This was a big win for Christellà, who was happy that the world had heard her story and her pledge for women’s rights. She also knows that the fight must go on. “I have witnessed myself the hardships described in my video. But I also see that some of my friends are still enduring them,” said Christellà when receiving her Tommy Award in Amsterdam, where she was invited as one of the top 15 nominees from around the world.

Wonder Woman examines the problem of early marriage that many young girls suffer in southern Madagascar. At a very early age, many girls are promised to men in exchange for zebus, an animal that symbolizes wealth in many households. Having no choice, girls are forced to leave their home, forfeiting their rights to education, protection and access to health.

The One Minutes Jr. committee states that Christellà’s video sends a strong message about the community burden she wants to tackle. She wants to be the wonder woman who will right wrongs, fight injustice and change everything, so in her video she stands up to fight against all abuse against women. Christellà, working in this new medium, acknowledged that “it is difficult to touch on all the elements in sixty seconds.”

A young girl stands in front of a video screen holding an award.
UNICEF Madagascar Christella accepting her award at the ceremony in Amsterdam

Before producing her video, Christellà benefited from a one-week video workshop, during which she developed her storyboard, learned techniques and studied methods to create a video.The workshop was made possible thanks to the UNICEF life skills program which is funded by the South Korean Government. Like Christellà, the young people who are members of UNICEF-supported “life skills club” come from vulnerable households. Christellà is an orphan who lost her mother at a very young age and then her father left her and her two sisters. The trip to Amsterdam, her first outside of Madagascar, was a wonderful experience for a very ambitious teenager who dreams of becoming a doctor.

One Minutes Jr. is a program launched by UNICEF, the European Cultural Foundation and the One Minutes Foundation to encourage young people to express themselves through one-minute videos, giving them the power to communicate messages and realities that are important to them to a larger audience.

With UNICEF’s support, Madagascar submitted 25 entries this year. Three of them were in the top 15 nominees. UNICEF Madagascar supported the trip of two nominees, Christellà Razanamalala and Maka Tsikivy, to Amsterdam. The objective is to help them progress and to encourage them to produce more videos.

Read more about One Minutes Jr.

Fanja Saholiarisoa is a Communication Officer at UNICEF Madagascar

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