With so many great charities out there, deciding which ones to donate to or become involved with is sometimes a puzzling feat, especially because many of us have a limited budget and a busy schedule. One type of organization, that as females many of us can easily relate to, is a charity that strives to empower girls by giving them more opportunities to succeed in their everyday lives as well as in their future careers. There are many organizations that follow through with this mission to help girls both in America and in developing countries eventually become strong leaders in their communities and in the world.
1. She’s The First
• Only one in every five girls in the developing world finish primary school
• Only one out of every three countries has as many girls as boys in secondary schools
• An extra year of primary school for girls means they can earn 10 to 20 percent more, on average
• Girls who are educated are, in the long run, likely to marry later, bear fewer children, educate their own children, and be less vulnerable to sexual abuse and coerced sex (and therefore less likely to be infected by sexually transmitted diseases)
She’s the First sponsors girls’ education in developing nations, giving them the chance to become the first in their families to graduate from secondary school. To fulfill this mission, She’s the First guides supporters to organize creative fundraisers and gives them a clearer understanding of complex global issues related to poverty. Harnessing technology and social media, She’s the First is committed to connecting sponsors and scholars around the world in innovative, mutually beneficial ways to foster mentorship, philanthropy, equality, and leadership. Ultimately, She’s the First’s student leaders and scholars become the change agents who break cycles of generational poverty, and thus transform our world.
A great way to help sponsor a girl is to join or create a campus chapter. These chapters raise money to sponsor girls in developing countries’ educations by executing campaigns in their schools. Some of these fun and effective campaigns include a tie-dye cupcake bake sale and running a marathon for others’ donations.
2. Girl Up
• There are more than 600 million adolescent girls living in developing countries today. These girls are bright, talented and full of dreams, but are often unable to reach their full potential.
• Many of them struggle for the opportunity to go to school, see a doctor, or be included in their communities.
• These struggles have serious consequences including: low levels of enrollment in school, high levels of child marriage, and many girls facing health risks from pregnancy and early child birth.
Girl Up is an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation. It gives American girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Girl Up envisions a world where all girls, no matter where they live, have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted, and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.
In order to help this organization, one can join or create a club at her school, which will then raise awareness of issues that are negatively affecting girls around the world, advocate for girls’ rights, and fundraise for many charities that Girl Up supports.
3. Girls Who Code
• In middle school, 74% of girls express interest in science, technology, engineering, and math, but when choosing a college major, just 0.3% of high school girls select computer science.
• Women today represent 12% of all computer science graduates. In 1984, they represented 37%
• Despite the fact that 55% of overall AP test takers are girls, only 17% of AP Computer Science test takers are high school girls.
• Women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but hold just 25% of the jobs in technical or computing fields.
• In a room full of 25 engineers, only 3 will be women
Girls Who Code works to educate, inspire, and equip young women with the skills and resources to pursue academic and career opportunities in computing fields. This organization’s vision is to reach gender parity in computing fields, because more girls exposed to computer science at a young age will lead to more women working in the technology and engineering fields. Overall, Girls Who Code aims to provide computer science education and exposure to one million young women by 2020. Moreover, together with leading educators, engineers, and entrepreneurs, Girls Who Code has developed a new model for computer science education, pairing intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development with high-touch mentorship and exposure led by the industry’s top female engineers and entrepreneurs.
One can make an individual donation or fundraise for donations that will help pay for The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program, which pairs 300+ hours of intensive instruction in robotics, web design, and mobile development with engaging, career-focused mentorship and exposure led by the industry's top female entrepreneurs and engineers in order to showcase the benefits of working in technology for girls.
It is never too late to begin improving the lives of girls around the world. By helping a charity continue to raise awareness about issues that affect girls and improve a variety of conditions that are detrimental to a community’s society and economy, we young women can aid girls with the challenges of growing up in patriarchal cultures.
Lizzie is a junior in high school who resides in the suburbs of NYC. She is an editor of her school newspaper, the publicist for Script to Screen club, and a dedicated member of H.E.L.P. Animals club. Outside of school, Lizzie enjoys blogging, creative writing, reading novels, and perusing through fashion magazines and coffee table books. Aspiring to live in a big city one day, she hopes to combine her passions for fashion, the arts, and female empowerment, into a career.
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