Mercy’s Blessing Communities & Neighborhoods

south africa, 2019Junior youth group members find their voice and powers of expression

A junior youth group watched Mercy’s Blessing in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. They had a lively discussion following the film discussion exploring the power of choice, finding their ‘voice’ and standing up for justice. As one of the junior youth said, “We shouldn’t wait for somebody to change the world, we can change it ourselves first.”

United States, 2017Family in California open their home to screen ‘Mercy’s Blessing’

A family opened up their home in Santa Cruz, California, USA, to host several screenings of Mercy’s Blessing, welcoming participants from ages 8 to 80. After watching the film, the participants went through some of the Workshop Questions and engaged in meaningful discussions on various themes such as equality and justice.

Israel, 2019Youth discuss becoming agents of positive social change

In Haifa, Israel, 35 youth came together to watch Mercy’s Blessing and held a Q&A with the film’s director, May Taherzadeh, who was visiting the country. They discussed how to become protagonists of positive social change and using one’s talents to be of service to humanity.

Uzbekistan, 2019Community explores opportunities to use ‘Mercy’s Blessing’

In Tashkent, Uzbekistan, community members gathered together to watch Mercy’s Blessing, which was followed by a discussion about privilege, gender equality and education. The film’s director, May Taherzadeh, video-called into the gathering and together they explored how the film can be used as a tool to raise awareness and inspire change.

The Netherlands, 2017Junior Youth Camp members explore themes of ‘Mercy’s Blessing’ with film director

A summer Junior Youth Camp held in the vicinity of an historic fortress in Utrecht, The Netherlands invited the director of Mercy’s Blessing, May Taherzadeh, to present the film. A Q&A session was held afterwards, where the director shared stories of how the film is impacting people in different parts of the world and how the film helps communities raise awareness about the equality of women and men and the importance of education. The participants then split up into groups and discussed some of the Workshop Questions with the help of trained facilitators.

United Kingdom, 2017Neighbours gather in their building to watch ‘Mercy’s Blessing’

Friends living in a neighbourhood in the financial sector of London, UK, gathered to watch Mercy’s Blessing. The participants felt that despite the stark material contrast between the reality portrayed in the film and the cosmopolitan reality of London, the concepts expressed in the film were ones that encompassed the experiences of both worlds. They discussed and reflected on the themes of sacrifice, love, and the impact of the choices we make.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2017Junior youth groups start making positive changes

In Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, over 50 junior youth (aged 11 to 16) watched and discussed Mercy’s Blessing. The junior youth explored ideas of how they can stand up for justice and make a positive change in their own environment.

Finland, 2018Youth at conference identify with the characters in ‘Mercy’s Blessing’

Around 30 youth gathered at a Youth Conference in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland, where Mercy’s Blessing was screened. The youth discussed some of the Workshop Questions and explored how these themes applied to their own lives and environment. One of their comments described the tough choices the main character had to make: ‘He wasn’t a typical Hollywood hero… and I could identify with his struggle.’

South Africa, 2016Community gathering explores gender equality and education’

Community members gathered together to watch Mercy’s Blessing in Cape Town, South Africa on International Women’s Day. Questions were explored to generate discussion and raise awareness amongst the participants.

Scotland, 2018Women’s group in Scotland discusses the role of motherhood in society

Inspired by the screening of Mercy’s Blessing at their local cinema in Kirkconnel, Scotland, a participant decided to share the film at a women’s group. A large part of the discussion revolved around the character of the Mother in the film. They shared personal experiences and explored the role that mothers today play in society. Some of the women expressed their desire to show the film in other groups they are involved in, such a sheltered housing facility and a local church.

Canada, 2018Local cinema in Canada screens Mercy’s Blessing followed by Q&A with film director

Around 150 people came to watch Mercy’s Blessing screen at Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa, Canada. An interactive discussion was held afterwards with the film’s director May Taherzadeh, challenging assumptions about gender equality, the importance of education, and the double standards we often hold. It was a dynamic evening, full of questions, comments and discussions.

BRAZIL, 2018A Company screens Mercy’s Blessing in their office with staff

At the ClassApp office in São Paulo, Brazil, staff members watched Mercy’s Blessing together. They were all very touched and inspired by the film and decided to actively promote the use of the film in schools throughout Brazil.

SPAIN, 2018Family and friends discuss the role of men in achieving gender equality

In a home in Irún, Spain, family and friends of all ages watched Mercy’s Blessing, which was followed by a meaningful discussion on the role of men and boys in creating awareness of and achieving gender equality.

Malawi, 2017Village in Malawi decides to send its girls to school after watching ‘Mercy’s Blessing’

A village in the Salima district in Malawi was not sending their girl children to school. A community screening of Mercy’s Blessing was organised by UNICEF and around 300 women, men, girls and boys attended. Following the screening there was a long discussion on whether girls have equal rights to education as boys do. By the end of the night, almost every single mother and father promised to send their daughter to school. The girls who attended the screening also expressed an eager desire to go to school.

In Malawi, according to UNICEF less than 25% of girls finish primary school, less that 5% of girls finish high school and 50% of girls are child brides.

The Netherlands, 2017Junior youth discuss privilege and sacrifice

Around 50 junior youth aged 11 to 15 years in Groesbeek, the Netherlands, viewed and discussed the film Mercy’s Blessing as part of a summer school. Three youth were trained as facilitators and used the Workshop Questions to engage the junior youth in stimulating discussions around the concepts of privilege, sacrifice and standing up for justice in their own lives and environment.