October 4 th
Girls Transforming the WorldBy
The. Girl. Effect.
Transforming the life of . . .
a 12-year old girl,
“There are 600 million adolescent girls living in poverty in the developing world. By giving one of these girls a chance, you start the girl effect. When girls have safe places to meet, education, legal protection, health care, and access to training and job skills, they can thrive. And if they thrive, everyone around them thrives, too.” – Global Giving
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This week I joined a Blogging Campaign to raise awareness about The Girl Effect. I have joined with hundreds (possibly thousands?!) of bloggers around the world to talk about this movement. If you have not yet seen it, please take 3 minutes to watch this video:
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I first heard about The Girl Effect a few years ago. But it was the blogging campaign that Tara Sophia Mohr started last year that really stirred me.
I read dozens of blog posts by amazing women, many of whom were and have become my entrepreneurial role models.
I was struck by the heart and soul of this campaign. Each post was unique. There was no formula. There were no rules. There was no customary “ask” as is the norm in the world of nonprofits and fundraising. This was a different kind of campaign. It was an authentic sharing of voices, stories, and hearts.
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When I was in law school I interviewed with The Children’s Defense Fund for a summer job. It was my dream to work for them. I loved everything about their mission and I adored founder Marian Wright Edelman. I was offered the position, but the specific work I would be doing that summer at the Ohio ACLU was more interesting, so I took a clerkship position there instead. But The Children’s Defense Fund left an imprint.
A few years later, I was living in Seattle. As an active member of The Junior League, an international women’s organization known for training community volunteers, one of my first stints was with the JLS’s (now-defunct) Child Watch Committee. It was a chance to return to work inspired by The Children’s Defense Fund! It was a year-long initiative and now, more than 15 years later, my biggest takeaway from that work was the importance of story and emotional connection. Our work that year was about telling the stories of children, taking people (decision-makers, funders and volunteers) on tours to meet real people on the ground, and engaging all of the senses.
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We capture minds and wallets only after we connect with the heart. Everything meaningful starts with a genuine emotional connection.
The Girl Effect is just such a movement. And today, thanks to the internet, the world wide web, email, blogging, video, podcasting, Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, we can meet people, hear their stories, and make a heart connection with ease.
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Stories stir our hearts. They bring us alive.
Watch, listen and let your heart open as you engage the short videos below. Each is less then two minutes.
Kidan is from Ethiopia. Her story breaks my heart:
Addis is also from Ethiopia. Her story offers hope:
Anita, from India, is an inspiration:
And Shumi, from Bangladesh, reminds us: “In villages like this, it takes a lot of courage to do things differently.”
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When I watched these videos I was moved to tears. I was profoundly touched by the longing to learn. Learning at it’s core is about the human need to create.
What does a girl + an education yield?
Creative problem solving.
Improving the world.
Transforming the planet.
An educated girl = leverage.
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Oh, and The Girl Effect is also based on statistics:
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See how global leaders are involved here:
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“The Girl Effect is the unique and indisputable potential of adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world.
“The Girl Effect is a movement. It’s social change in action. It’s about you using your voice, your talents, and your community to help girls help themselves—and, as a result, everybody else.”
“Created by people at the Nike Foundation, the Novo Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls, its purpose is to spread the word about what girls can do and to recruit other powerful girl champions, like you. Armed with the tools and the network you need to raise awareness—and a little elbow grease—you can change the world.”
“An adolescent girl has the power to stop poverty before it starts. But she needs your help. She needs information, healthcare, and education. She needs laws to change, money in her pocket, and she needs her parents, her government, and the global community to see that she is valuable. Her change can’t happen without the girl champions who each bring their own superpowers to the party.”
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It starts with
What superpower will you bring to bear?
Change begins with small steps. What small steps can you take today? Here are some ideas:
1. Watch the videos above (15 minutes in all).
2. Read blog posts about The Girl Effect. Find them here.
3. Share your own feelings and stories in a journal, blog post, Facebook post. Start a conversation.
4. Spread the word. Like, comment, and share the posts you find compelling or informative.
5. Be open to the unexpected ideas and shifts that arise when we connect with our heart and with each other.
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Take action now. Click “like” if you like this post. Share it. Tweet it. Plus One it. And leave a comment below.
What did these stories stir in you? What superpower are you using or can you employ to effect change? How does your life reflect “The Girl Effect” in action? What will you do next?