'Our voices are just as important as adults': Young activists rally for change on Day of the Girl

Taylor Cromwell
·MAKERS
Photo Credit: Disney Companies
Photo Credit: Disney Companies

When they were just 8 years old, the Rehman sisters, set out to change the world.

As storytellers, entrepreneurs and the founders of ‘The World with MNR’, the sisters from Whitby, Canada, now 17, are speaking out for the next generation of girls.

“We believe if you put your heart in the right place and you want to make a difference it truly is possible.” Nivaal Rehman said. “Our voices are just as important as adults.”

“We’re more informed than ever. We’re more connected than ever.”

In the past nine years, the Rehman sisters have created a social media community, started a Youtube channel and even interviewed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Malala. Now they are creating “The World With MNR” to inspire others to make a difference.

The girls’ latest accomplishment came when they were selected as one of the 21 leaders in Disney’s Dream Big Princess Campaign, a partnership with the UN Foundation’s Girl Up, to promote gender equality across the globe. The campaign selected 21 aspiring filmmakers and connected them to women trailblazers in various industries, from Emily Blunt and Good Morning America‘s Robin Roberts to Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a Canadian MP.

Disney offered mentorship to the selected leaders but gave the girls free range on production and interviews. The Rehman sisters chose to interview Caesar-Chavannes, the representative for their hometown, Whitby. “We are able to say our story and it allows someone else to understand that they’re not alone,” the MP said in an interview with Nivaal and Maryam.

“There’s a line in ‘Mary Poppins’ where she says anything is possible, even the impossible,” Blunt said in a press release. “I think that really symbolizes what dreaming big is all about, the idea if you want something big enough that the universe is going to conspire to give it to you.”

The initiative, which debuted on October 10, is aiming to fundraise $1 million for Girl Up. For every like or share of a video or photo on with #DreamBigPrincess on social media, Disney is donated $1 to match.