Today, hundreds of bloggers are writing about one, big idea that we want YOU to think about:
By investing in girls in the developing world, we can make an incredibly effective investment in eradicating poverty, creating thriving communities, and slowing the spread of AIDS.
This idea is called Gift Effect and it represents the unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and for the world.
First of all, their website is awesome and their videos extremely compelling (my personal favourite is the one above), so as far as social mobilization, cause awareness and persuasive communication goes, Girl Effect rocks. They are, in my humble opinion, a brilliant example of best practices and the exact type of inspirational thinking and execution this world needs more of.
But the point of this post is not to raise awareness of Girl Effect as an organization. It’s to raise awareness of their cause: GIRLS. Specifically, girls in developing countries around the world who, if given an opportunity, can break the cycle of poverty for their family, their village, and possibly even their country. That’s because, just like the young girls you know in your own neighbourhood, they’re full of promise.
Their eyes are bright. Their imaginations are big, active and wild. Just like the girls you know, their giggles are infectious, their spirits fill the room, and their dreams of achieving success, raising a healthy family one day, and being unconditionally loved are very much alive.
If given the chance, these girls can become as much of an influential, passionate, loving, and accomplished woman as you want your daughter, niece or granddaughter to be. And I want to spread the word about their potential and their need for one reason: gratitude.
I was given a chance like the one they need. And because of all that it has allowed me to do, be and explore, I’m extremely grateful. I was educated, supported, believed in. I was allowed to remain single for as long as I wanted. I had access to a doctor. And, having children was an option, not a rule, that I could exercise if and when I was ready.
As a result of all of that, I have a university degree, my own business, my health and vitality, and a support system of colleagues, friends and family members. I’m about the run a half marathon, spend Thanksgiving with my family, experience an authentic and joyful wedding, and launch a website that I hope will make a positive impact on others’ lives. I know that I have a voice and a brain and that those two things can take me wherever the hell I want to go, if I work them hard enough.
My life is rich. I was given a chance. I’m extremely grateful.
Recently, I have encountered some professional hurdles. It has been a “character-building” year, we’ll say. There have been some major realizations happening, my conviction and confidence is being tested, determination is being demanded, and my ability to problem solve, respect myself and trust others must be proven.
But guess what? Whether we’re communication professionals or farmers, whether we’re working our networks or our farm, us girls? We’ve got a lot of fight in us. We have the capacity to figure shit out, if you give us a chance.
My life has been full of chances, and if I had to guess, I’d say so has yours. In honour of the chances you’ve been given and the chances I’ve been given, it’s time to pay it forward. It’s time to spread the love.
Here’s what you can do:
1.) Donate. $1, $10, $100, $1,000. Whatever you have is more than what they do, so the amount matters not.
2.) Spread the word. Share this post on Twitter and Facebook, and/or share a link to girleffect.org, and/or like the Facebook page.
3.) Watch the video above. It’ll expand your mind, for sure, and maybe it’ll inspire you to go back and do #1 or #2 as well.
– Big L
The Girl Effect Blogging Campaign is being spearheaded by Tara Sophia Mohr, a life coach, motivational speaker, and author.