This Martin Luther King weekend, the United Nations Foundation’s Unite for Girls Tour came to Washington, DC, to introduce its newest campaign – Girl Up – which helps American girls channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for their sisters in the developing world. Hundreds of area teens – from Baltimore to Virginia – came together at a special event in Anacostia, to join special celebrity guests Nigel Barker, Estelle, Washington Mystics, and Miss Teen Maryland to tell the world that they care about the health and education and future of girls in development countries. The Girl Up campaign is raising awareness about the 600 million adolescent girls living in developing countries who lack access to basic needs such as education and health care, and encourages American girls to give back.
“We know that when you help a girl, you make a positive change for the future of a community or entire nation,” said Kathy Calvin, Chief Executive Officer of the United Nations Foundation. “But for millions of these girls, it is a struggle to get access to basic things like health, education, or safety. A global campaign ‘for girls, by girls’ could change that. We are proud to be in Washington, DC, among such creative, energetic and passionate young people who are making a real difference in the lives of girls around the world.”
Through Girl Up’s support, girls around the world will have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted, and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. Funds raised through Girl Up will support United Nations programs that help the hardest-to-reach girls in such countries as Malawi, Ethiopia, Guatemala, and Liberia. Campaign supporters are encouraged to give a “High Five” to girls in developing countries by taking five minutes to learn about the issues facing girls or by donating $5 or more to provide girls with such basic needs as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more.
“As the father of a young daughter and son, I can attest to the undeniable power and spirit of today’s youth,” Nigel Barker, renowned fashion photographer, author and Girl Up Champion remarked. “This program will give a girl in DC the opportunity to help a girl in Malawi buy school supplies.”
The Unite for Girls Tour held a Pep Rally on Saturday, January 15 at the Boys and Girl Club of Greater Washington FBR Branch @THEARC. There will be special appearances by Nigel Barker, Grammy Award-winner Estelle, and the Washington Mystics, led by Girl Up Champion Alana Beard. Youth from across the Washington, DC area will be attending the Pep Rally, through their schools and nonprofit organizations.
Girls attending the Pep Rally had the opportunity to travel through an interactive display with a passport in hand, to learn about girls just like them all around the world. During this experience, they learned how they can help make the future brighter for their counterparts in developing countries. The Unite for Girls Tour has been visiting metropolitan areas across the nation to energize U.S. girls and boys to take action in support of their counterparts overseas. An impressive group of Champions, Global Advocates and founding partners have joined the Girl Up movement to improve the lives of girls in developing countries, and will participate in the Tour throughout the year. Earlier this month, the campaign was featured on the home page of AOL.com. News organizations, including ABC News, NBC, and LA Times, have reported on the Girl Up movement and how the next generation of U.S. philanthropists – teen girls – are helping make a difference in the world.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT GIRLS
- More than half of the world’s 1.5 billion young people (ages 10-25) are adolescent girls living in developing countries.
- Girls make up more than 50% of the world’s 143M out-of-school youth.
- 1 in 7 girls in the developing world is married before the age of 15.
- Up to 50% of girls in developing countries become mothers before the age of 18.
- In some countries, girls spend up to 15 hours a day obtaining water for their families and villages.
- 1/6 of the world’s young people live on less than $2 a day, including 122 million girls in sub-Saharan Africa who live on less than $1 a day
- There are 21 million girls ages 10-19 living in the United States – more educated, socially connected and empowered today than ever before in history.
For more information, visit www.GirlUp.org.
About Girl Up
Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, gives American girls the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Through Girl Up’s support, girls have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. Campaign supporters are encouraged to give a “High Five” to girls in developing countries by donating $5 or more to provide girls with such basic needs as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more. Founding campaign partners include MTV Networks, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, Women’s National Basketball Association, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, Girls Inc., and Camp Fire USA. Go to GirlUp.org to learn more.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns we conduct reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.