Friday, July 15, 2016

Feel Good Friday - Girl Up

I learned about today's Feel Good Friday group because of the Spice Girls. The Spice Girls and NPR you guys. Stop laughing. Focus on NPR.

The story I heard was about how the UN created a new video version of the Spice Girls' song Wannabe as a call to action for the Global Goals campaign promoting the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. You can read the article, see the video and learn all about that initiative here.

What I got out of that story, in addition to an ear worm, was an introduction to Girl Up. As they explain on their website, "We're the leading global community of passionate advocates changing policies and raising funds to support United Nations programs that help the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl."

Why girls? A quick look at the website should convince you. 75% of HIV infected youth between the ages of 15-24 are girls and complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the second most common cause of death for girls 15-19. With some help, girls can make big changes. "Every year of schooling increases a girls future earnings 10-20%."

Just this week the 2016 Girl Up Leadership Summit took place in Washington DC, bringing together 300 girl advocates from around the world to "participate in leadership training, learn from influential speakers, engage in skills-based workshops, and lead an official lobby day on Capitol Hill."

What's the impact of all this girl power, you ask? In the 5 years since Girl Up's creation, they've raised $5,600,000 "for programs working to improve the lives of adolescent girls." Current countries Girl Up focuses on are Guatemala, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, India and Uganda.

Specific programs vary from basic education and health service training in Malawi to increasing the legal age of marriage to 18 in Guatemala. You can read about these and other initiatives here or watch a 2 minute video celebrating 5 years of impact.

Now that you're all fired up and inspired, you can support the work of Girl Up by becoming an advocate, making a donation or spreading the word by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @GirlUp. Sisterhood IS powerful!

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