Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Who Changes the World? A Girl, That's Who.

This post is a part of a blog-wide campaign to bring attention to the Girl Effect. Special thanks to my friend Kristin for alerting me to this!

My daughters are really amazing people. Just last night Faith left Jason a little note letting him know that she left him a "Pop Tart combo" where she mixed two different flavors for him so he could have a little variety. Every Tuesday night, Deborah and I drive to and from church and she'll spend the whole 30 minute drive both ways, sharing about what's going on in her life. They're both funny, smart, creative girls. I am deeply blessed to be their mom and to be building relationships with them.

Part of my ability to have these relationships and to see my daughters grow into these amazing young women is because we live in a developed nation. My daughters can go to school and gain an education. They have access to clean water and food. They have time to play and create. Some day, if they want, they can choose to marry. Can choose to have careers. Can choose to have children. And if they have daughters, they can give them the same advantages.

Not all girls have these opportunities. In fact, 600 million girls don't have these opportunities.

A quarter of girls in developing countries are not able to attend school. Nearly one in seven girls in developing nations will be married before she's 15. And a study in India found that a girl married before 18 is twice as likely to report being beaten, slapped or threatened by her husband. Medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among girls 15 to 19 worldwide.

My 12 year old plays the trumpet, texts with her friends, reads Harry Potter and writes stories. A girl in another part of the world is dealing with poverty, marriage, pregnancy and prostitution.

It feels tremendously hopeless.

But there are some who are looking to help.

The Girl Effect is a group looking to help raise girls up out of the cycle of poverty. A girl who can attend school can boost her wages by up to 25 percent. And girls who are able to make money reinvest 90 percent back into their families as opposed to the 30-40 percent that men do. A girl who attends school can marry later, so she can put off having children at an unsafe age. Her children will be healthier. She avoids contracting diseases like HIV that will kill her.

She might not have all of the same opportunities that my daughters have, but she can have a better life. And her better life can change the world.

Please check out The Girl Effect for ways you can help. Spread the word. Sent a tweet (#girleffect) or share a link on Facebook. You can follow The Girl Effect on Twitter and on Facebook. And if you have a little extra and want to see the world changed one girl at a time, you can donate here.

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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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