Private Project

Be Prepared

In a place where one in four girls is raped, where eight year old girls are forced into marriages, where girls are three times more likely than boys to contract HIV, a group of girls is fighting back. The Kenya Girl Guides are using Peer Sex Education to teach other girls to survive.

  • Susan Ealer
  • Susan Ealer
  • Susan Ealer, John Ealer
  • John Ealer
    Director of Photography
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    24 minutes 37 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 15, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Swahili
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards
    Los Angeles, CA
    United States
    March 24, 2018
    North American Premiere
    Documentary Short
Director Biography - Susan Ealer

Susan's filmography includes the production of a television documentary about women in the arts for WCTV and associated short documentaries showcasing women artists that aired on that program. She has also produced, and currently produces, architectural videos for marketing presentations, competitions, and corporate websites. She has won awards for her screenwriting, including the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship. Be Prepared is the first film she is submitting to festivals.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

It was the day of the Primary Election and the massacre of the last election was on all our minds because we were shooting in Kibera - at the very spot where violence erupted in 2007.

I sat behind the fortress-like metal gate of the Binti Safe Space, interviewing the girls who took refuge there, when the election results came in - the sounds of a riot beginning on the other side. I watched an angry group run by with thick sticks, taller than a man, taller than the gate even. I flashed back to that morning as we passed a shopkeeper on the way in, sharpening a huge machete on a grindstone. My husband joked about how he would use it later. I was right at the time to think it was no joke.

There is only one exit from Kibera and we barely made it out through the mob surging and shouting alongside heap of burning tires. Men rushed our Jeep with large rocks and threatened to smash our cameras. Mingled with the fear for our lives was the terror that we would lose all those stories our brave girls risked so much to tell us.

We did make it out that day and the fact that the film exists is testament to the survival of their stories.

From the safety of time and distance, I think back on that day and on what it must be like to be a 15 year old girl living in that chaos. I think about how a 15 year old girl can look at all that terror and violence and decide to save herself from it because no one else will. How she can then turn around and save another girl, and another, and so on.

This is a story I wish I had seen when I was a girl. I think my life would have been better for it. It's a story I want all girls to see, to give them a chance to survive and to thrive.