Turning the spotlight on violence in north-west Nigeria & its impact on girls’ education


Turning the spotlight on violence in north-west Nigeria & its impact on girls’ education.

Rooftop’s brief from UNICEF was that they wanted to raise awareness about the reality of armed groups in north-west Nigeria and how it impacts girls and their education. They also wanted to shed some light on what UNICEF is doing to support girls who have been forced to flee their homes, or have been impacted by violence in their communities.



Turning a child’s painful story into a powerful example of resilience.

We only had six weeks to complete this project, so we had to think on our feet and carefully consider how to put together an emotive story that would help viewers truly understand the enormous challenges and threats girls in this region face when it comes to getting an education.

Through the support of UNICEF, we identified a 10-year-old girl, Aisha, who had fled her home in the middle of the night when raiders attacked her community. Together with her grandmother, she trekked barefoot to another village where they were given shelter by a relative.

Due to the extremely sensitive nature of the topic, we had to conduct our interviews with grace and empathy, being careful to tell Aisha’s story without causing further trauma or harm. We ensured that we were sensitive to the conservative cultural norms of the area, and made sure that the team who was sent on location included a woman who worked closely with Aisha. This helped her feel more comfortable to share her story through a translator.

We worked very closely with translators for this project, in field, and in post-production to help put the video together as quickly and as accurately as possible.

The UNCIEF team were also closely involved, and made sure Aisha and her family had moral support and access to counselling after the filming process.

The location of the shoot was in a dangerous area of Nigeria, so we also had a security team to accompany us at all times, and could only move around specific areas during daylight hours.


Using strong, emotive visuals, and allowing the story to tell itself.

We knew that highlighting the impact of violence on girls’ education would require a sensitive approach. We chose to use strong visuals of Aisha and her family, and to allow her story to tell itself through her recollection.

The three-minute video shows Aisha in her new community and how, through the support of relatives and UNICEF programs, she is determined to pursue her education in the face of overwhelming obstacles.

The Result

Creating impact.

The video has not yet been released publicly, but is being used internally by the client for various events. Everyone who watches Aisha’s story is stirred by it, and her powerful resilience. We are sure that it will continue to create impact wherever it is shared.

Behind the scenes stills

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