The Girl Effect

This video about the Girl Effect makes me cry every time I watch it; the combination of the music, the graphics and the information just presses all my buttons in a way that not many campaigns do.

And maybe it’s because i’m still ill with this virus, but I’m finding it hard to write this post today. I watch the video and tear up; i go to the website and i feel overwhelmed. I want to help, and I will definitely donate as much as I can, but it just doesn’t feel enough. I don’t have first-hand experience of life in third-world countries the way my friends Marianne, Letha and Lisa do – I wish i could get on a plane with a bag of old cameras and spend the day playing and creating to help these girls – any girls, all girls – feel seen and heard, to help them feel important. Because they really are – the stats say there are 600 million adolescent girls living in developing countries, and each has the potential to raise the standard of living for herself, her family, her community and her country. I really do believe it.

I believe that girls can do amazing things.

Today I’m joining 30+ bloggers in the Girl Effect Blogging Campaign, a collaboration organised by Tara Sophia Mohr to raise awareness in our corner of the blogosphere. I know that I’m never going to change the world on a global scale, but i can do what i do here in my own small way. My work – Unravelling, writing, photography –  is all about empowering women, so I’m going to recommit to doing the work i do here, and send money so that the people who make a difference can do their work there.

It’s a start. It’s something. One day I hope to do more.

What we can do right now:
  • Learn more. Be informed. Share the reports.

  • Donate: I’m donating money to girls in Kibera, Nairobi, to buy film for their photography lessons.
  • Raise awareness: write a post about the Girl Effect and join Tara’s blogging campaign – tweet about it using the #girleffect hash tag

    Will you join me today and share the videos and some thoughts on the Girl Effect on your blog? Little seeds grow into big plants – let’s start today :)

  • 16 responses
    1. Kristina

      I find myself very intrugued about this group. I have wanted to help children for some time but I honestly haven’t found the right group to volunteer for. I’m looking further into them and their opportunities. Thank you for posting this!

    2. Marianne

      Recommitting to your work here, raising awareness and donating are absolutely the best things you can do! Honestly? The developing world probably doesn’t need more volunteers, they need the developed world to wake up to the inequalities and injustices of the system as it is and for us to be willing to make a stand, spread the word and change our own lives where we can so that we are no longer part of the problem. In other words, exactly what you do!

    3. Amelia

      wow Susannah, you do it every time! Hit the spot with revelations (and unravellings!) I have checked out the site and will watch the video when I feel stronger as I’m sure tears will be an understatement.

      I wish to support the cause and as well feel that raw deals for girls/women are everywhere. Feeling ‘left alone’ to raise kids on little money and one with a disability I have learnt some damn hard, tough lessons about the lack of support or acknowledgement, and having to find ways to make it work myself, and like you I feel so strongly about the work women do that empowers others. It’s great watching those live their truth and supporting, others along the way – you, other bloggers and amazing women everywhere inspire me everyday: continue your great work :)

      Hope you feel better.


    4. Moyra Scott

      THanks for sharing this, am posting it to my facebook and twitter. I will blog about it later. I feel very strongly that we owe it to help to those in countries where women’s education and rights are not respected at all. Educate the women, educate the world…..

    5. helen

      Well I’m feeling all weepy and I don’t have a virus! It’s great that you’re doing this Susannah.

      I too am intrigued by this organisation. It’s really important that we try to support groups which know what they’re doing and are working with people in local communities. I lived in Nigeria for two years and it was sad to see money and resources donated by well-meaning people go to waste in projects that had been poorly thought out and without the participation of local people.

      And yes! We need to change too! And we need to tell our politicians that we will not tolerate global poverty and insist that they do something about it. Something like this might help do that too.

    6. Selina

      Bet you end up doing this or something similar… “get on a plane with a bag of old cameras and spend the day playing and creating to help these girls”.

      And you do change the world on a global scale – you’re changing lives across the globe. I know because I’m on your Unravelling course : )

    7. Genna

      Susannah, thanks you so much for bringing this campaign to my attention, the video gave me chills and made me tear up too!

      Gonna post it over on my blog + twitter & FB to spread the word

      thanks again doll xx

    8. Lynda Margaret

      I, too, am passionate about how girls have such an unlimited potential to raise themselves out of their difficult situations. I admire you for speaking out and making such commitments. I will definitely read more about this cause. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

    9. Nicole | Blue Bicicletta

      Wow, that’s very powerful—thanks for sharing!

    10. Lindsay

      I, too, had a case of the weepies. I waited, thinking I would be fine… but alas, I was not. This is such an impactful little video with such a strong punch of a message. Thank you for sharing. I am trying to decide how I want to get involved.

    11. Ming-Zhu (Orlando and Ivy)

      Hey, Susannah.

      I sat down at the computer to write my Girl Effect post on – well – for me it was Tuesday night (I’m in Australia) after work, as my husband cooked dinner. He knew what it was all about, and gave me the space and time to write this thing, that for some reason felt so much more monumental than any ‘essay’ I’ve penned for the blog in the past. The good lad even poured me a glass of shiraz.

      I found myself staring at a blank ‘compose new post’ page, not knowing what to do with myself. The weight of the subject matter was so heavy. I was tired. The pressure was on to get it ‘so right’.

      To make matters worse, I headed over to The Girl Effect website and watched all the videos of those young women struggling and triumphing from inside their own individual existences, but with such *spirit*… I broke down in front of the computer and wailed. (This whole thing has seen me doing quite a bit of that, actually.) It felt overwhelming.

      But then I thought about each individual girl. I thought about Anita, Sanchita and Shumi. Their singular, and very solo desire to make things better drove them to break with convention and do just that. To be brave.

      And it made me realise that the phenomenal thing about this blogging campaign is that it is made up of a collection of individuals who want things to be better. Inspiring individuals. Brave ones.

      Anyway – this is a long and rambling way of saying I, too had enormous difficulty writing my Girl Effect post. But it was the courage of each, inspiring individual (the girls and women living in poverty and striving for a brighter future, the bloggers, and the readers) that drew it out of me. We each are huge, and together we are enormously powerful.

      Congratulations (and thank you) for being a part of it.

      … you absolutely may one day jump on a plane with a bag of cameras to help and support and nurture these phenomenal girls (oh, I hope you do!). But just know that you’re also doing a pretty awesome job at that from where you are online, right now.

    12. Julie Jordan Scott

      I started with a blog post to raise awareness. Tomorrow, I will post more of what my personal commitment will be as I invite others to take Anita’s charge for us to LEAD THE WORLD!

      Brava for posting this, even when you are not feeling well. So nice to “meet” you!

    13. Jasmine Lamb

      Susannah. You go, girl. I love how you say it. How everyone is saying it.

      You write, “I wish i could get on a plane with a bag of old cameras and spend the day playing and creating to help these girls – any girls, all girls – feel seen and heard, to help them feel important. ”

      This campaign is making me, as a woman, feel important. Important because I’m realizing that I can spread The Girl Effect. I can raise money for girls in Bangladesh–a place I’ve never been, but a place where my family lives.

      I think I’m lucky enough to have already felt important. But now I feel useful as well.


    14. Hillary Sloss

      susannah! thank you so much for enlightening me with this most important post. you inspired me to join the girl effect (which i was already a part of, without really knowing it!). here’s the effect yours had on me:

    15. Karen D

      I blogged about the girl effect also and like you it had my heart breaking.. the least we can do it share and pass on the information as you so wonderfully did here.
      I hope you are feeling better soon

    16. deb taylor

      thank you.. beyond thank you…I AM IN…just blogged it,,,,,gotta do it…grab a camera….LET’S DO IT…how can we do this?

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