My daughter has always had a strong sense of social justice. And she has not shied away from the hard questions, from the realities children face in other parts of the world.
Something significant moved in Kristina when she co-founded the Amnesty International chapter at her high school. The following two years of being co-president made Kristina’s world both bigger and smaller – the political became personal, and she is forever altered.
Kristina and her co-president produced a fundraiser they called Jamnesty, creating something from nothing. They succeeded, despite administrative blocks from the school at every turn, e.g. the fundraiser was not allowed on school grounds because it would take funds away from the football program – I wish I were kidding.
They secured an outside venue and hosted four bands/musical acts to perform. They sold tickets, held raffles, and welcomed food drive donations at the door. The event was a wholesale success, one that resulted in an invitation to speak, on getting youth involved in volunteering, at a conference near Seattle.
Each of these groups is doing great work, in specific areas.
And what I learned from the Girl Effect website shook me to the core.
Maybe because I have a little girl inside me. Maybe because, even in the developed world, I was not safe as a girl. Maybe because I gave birth to a little girl.
A little girl who grew into a young woman, who is now working to see that others are protected, able to grow and learn in safety.
The thing is, we all – including the men and boys – have a little girl inside that we must protect and nurture.
This TED talk by Eve Ensler is twenty minutes long. That may be more time than you want to give to it right now. It is powerful stuff, though. I hope you will either make some room in your day, or come back another time for it.
One way is to become educated about the safety and well-being of girls.
One way is to protect little girls everywhere, in the men and women, boys and girls in our lives.
One way is to recognise this truth: while any of us are at war, none of us can truly be at peace. And there is a war. On girls.
Because we each have a little girl inside us. And she wants to laugh and play, learn and grow.