Girls are powerful. Girls are capable. Girls will change the world.
I strongly believe that when girls worldwide are healthy, safe from violence and educated, they have the potential to transform their communities and break free from the cycle of poverty. It is because of this belief that I began working with the Girl Up campaign three years ago. To this day, when I am discussing the work that I have completed with the campaign, I am still asked countless times, “What is Girl Up?” and “What does the organization do?”
By definition, Girl Up is the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign led “by girls, for girls” to support various United Nations programs that benefit underprivileged girls across the globe. Currently, Girl Up supports women’s and girls’ programs in Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Guatemala and, most recently, India. Internationally, girls encounter major obstacles and discrimination in their lives, and they experience them at early ages. The campaign seeks to ensure that all girls, no matter where they live, are able to attain a high quality of life and to pursue a prosperous future for themselves and for their communities.
What began as a campaign to encourage American girls to support girls rights worldwide has quickly grown into an international movement that knows no boundaries and no limits. With over 500 thousand supporters from the U.S. and around the world, Girl Up is helping to foster a generation of young, female leaders. These global leaders and passionate advocates have already helped Girl Up raise millions of dollars for United Nations programs and have lobbied members of Congress to stop child marriage and ensure that girls are registered at birth. By supporting policies to help every girl in the world achieve her true potential, Girl Up advocates are showing their schools, campuses, friends, families and communities the incredible power of a united sisterhood.
Girl Up works with the United Nations to promote the advancement of adolescent girls in developing nations. Club members and supporters raise funds to support programs that help girls see a doctor, go to school, stay safe from violence and become leaders in their communities. From middle schools to college campuses, from the United States to Africa, young women around the globe are coming together to create a movement and to make an impact.
It’s incredibly important to me personally to advocate for the empowerment of girls everywhere. I feel incredibly privileged to have grown up in a society that values my worth as a woman, as a citizen and as a human being. It upsets me to know that so many girls, both in my country and in other countries around the world, will never have access to the types of experiences and opportunities that I have been lucky enough to receive. I am proud to be a part of an organization that actively works to provide every girl in the world with access to the resources that she needs to lead a happy, healthy and successful life.