Hundreds of area teens came together today at a special event to tell the world that they care about the health, education and future of girls in developing countries. The teens streamed into The Chicago Theatre as part of the Unite for Girls Tour created by the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign.
The grassroots campaign helps American girls channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for their sisters in developing countries. There are over 515 million adolescent girls living in developing countries who lack access to basic needs such as education and health care.
“We are harnessing the energy, creativity and passion of U.S. girls to make a difference in the lives of girls across the world,” said Gina Reiss-Wilchins, Director of Girl Up. “Girls need to be given the chance and opportunity to succeed, and we are hoping that this program will help give girls that chance. Chicago has shown that it is a community that cares and we are inspired by the global vision of Chicago-land girls.”
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.
“I’m excited to be part of Girl Up because I don’t think it’s fair that some girls do not have the opportunity to attend school and receive the education they deserve,” said Isabella Solimene, local Girl Up Teen Advisor. “I am only one girl, but I know I can make a difference. Imagine our impact in the world if girls across America came together and used our voices to stand up for the girls who are too often held back.”
The Unite for Girls Tour held a multi-media interactive forum on Friday, July 1 at The Chicago Theatre and youth from across Chicago attended the event through their schools and nonprofit organizations.
Girls who attended had the opportunity 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. News organizations, including TIME, 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.
For more information, visit www.GirlUp.org.
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 countries 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.
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, 10×10: Educate Girls. Change the World, Global Business Coalition, 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. These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting 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.
Tina Musoke, United Nations Foundation