Directed By Aidan Ellis
Every year, thousands of people flee their home countries and are labeled as refugees. Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than their non-refugee peers; and, for every ten refugee boys in a classroom, there are less than eight girls. When two high-schoolers who spend their time teaching these children English noticed that there were not any books written for them, they decided to write one themselves. Aya's Home is an children's book written for and illustrated by refugee children. The book delivers the messages of hope, friendship, and gender equity for these children as they navigate their new home country.
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Aidan Ellis is a senior at St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas. She has been teaching refugee children English for about two years through the organization Interfaith Action of Central Texas. This past summer she became interested in using film as a medium for activism, and when her friends Ali Sait and Pria Gokhale wrote a book for their refugee students, she decided to make a film describing how it empowered the kids, especially the girls, both inside and outside of their classroom.