Empower a girl, transform a community.
These are the words behind Because I Am A Girl, an internationally-recognised campaign working to transform communities in developing countries through empowering girls.
Today is International Day Of The Girl, the first day of its kind in the world. Plan Ireland invites everyone to take part and raise awareness and funds for global projects that tackle some of the biggest challenges that girls face on a daily basis in developing countries.
Sometimes we take it for granted that we have an education and the right to be with the person we love. A girl in the developing world faces overwhelming odds from the day she is born. Globally, one in three girls is denied an education. Every three seconds another young girl is forced into marriage, some as young as five.
Over the next four years, Because I am a Girl projects will support four million girls to get the education, skills and support they need to move themselves from poverty to opportunity.
There can be no better reason to get online to donate or sponsor a girl from somewhere in the developing world.
Sarah Harte, Media and Communications Officer at Plan Ireland, is delighted today is being officially recognised by the UN for the first time; “It is the first Day Of The Girl ever. We’re petitioning to recognise girls’ rights around the world. The whole world is involved today. The Empire State Building, the Pyramids of Egypt, Niagara Falls, the London Eye and the Mermaid in Copenhagen, among others, are all pink today to raise awareness of the campaign.
“We do a lot of work in marginalised communities in the developing world. It’s great that today is finally being recognised on a global scale and we can raise awareness for the girls around the world who are at a big disadvantage. We can make a positive impact on their lives.
“Our projects provide girls in developing countries around the world with even the smallest things we take for granted, like even making sure their school has the right facilities for when a young girl gets her period and making sure their text-books are gender-sensitive. We also make sure each young girl has her right to go to school, their education is not seen as valuable in a lot of developing countries.
“On the website we have the Because I Am A Girl blog. Women from all walks of life tell us what it means to them to be a girl. There are replies to what they celebrate, what they hope for, what they dream. There is such a vast landscape of replies but they are all about what it means to be a girl.”
Today’s featured blog is Ruth Negga, an Irish actress who was born in Ethiopia to an Irish mother and an Ethiopian father. She was raised between Ethiopia, Ireland and England and finished her studies at Trinity College Dublin where she was trained.
Because I Am A Girl: Ruth Negga
Ruth is a successful, IFTA-award winning actress and she explains what it means to her to be a girl.
Chatting about it on Twitter? Use the hashtags #dayofthegirl or #bciamagirl