A World of Difference

Many girls around the world live in towns that have been war-stricken. Lots of girls have been sexually assaulted and some suffer from HIV. Many are not getting an education. Check out these programs that are reaching out to girls. It’s all about the sisterhood!

The Girl Effect This campaign’s message? The world is one big whopping mess. The solution? Girls! The Adolescent Girls Initiative kicked off The Girl Effect by donating millions of dollars to educate girls in developing and post-conflict countries, such as Afghanistan, Nepal, Rwanda and South Sudan. The philosophy is that with training in areas like agriculture, business, public works and health care, girls will turn this world around!

Because I Am a Girl The Plan UK campaign tells it like it is: “Governments are failing girls on a massive scale.” A shocking 2008 report found that one in five countries has used girls as child soldiers, 20 million girls in war zones are not in schools and far too many are at risk of being raped, beaten or abducted. Recently, 20 girls and boys were kidnapped by rebels in eastern Congo. Yes, the facts are brutal.

Being a HERO Twenty-one stellar teens were selected as Youth Ambassadors to take part in Being a HERO 2008, a six-week volunteer effort in Namibia and South Africa, where the YAs are building homes and classrooms for kids in Africa, among other things. It’s part of a United Nations Association Campaign to provide care for children in need.

Girls for a Change This nonprofit org for urban girls just wrapped up a national tour, hitting 25 schools in a monthlong trek across the United States. GFC taught thousands of girls to take action within their communities. “The girls spoke of the killings they’ve witnessed, the gunfire that makes it unsafe to walk out their front door, abuse, global warming, racism and the bailout! These girls are on top of it,” says program director Carrie Ellett.

Dear World Two hundred and seventy-five girls, ages 7 to 17, from across the United States and Canada wrote letters about growing up, then recited them on videotape for the world to see. “Dear World celebrates the passion, imaginative spirit and intelligence of girls,” says a Girls Inc. spokesperson. Your voice counts!