Seven years ago, the United Nations Foundation committed to empowering girls everywhere with the launch of Girl Up, the first-of-its-kind “by girls, for girls” campaign. Since then, Girl Up has evolved from a primarily grassroots U.S. fundraising campaign to a global community of half a million passionate advocates for girls around the world.
But, Girl Up wouldn’t be the borderless movement it is today without some major milestones. Today we look back on some of our favorite Girl Up moments of the last seven years.
Today we continue to work with UN agencies like UNFPA, UNHCR UN Women, and more to support programs that benefit girls in vulnerable settings.
Of course, we couldn’t make any of this possible without the amazing Girl Up Club leaders. Part of Girl Up’s mission is to give young girls the chance to lead. Girl Up Clubs create a large impact on girls around the world by empowering girls in their own communities and in developing countries to be their own leaders. Through education, fundraising, advocacy and service, Girl Up Club members develop the leadership skills necessary to make a positive difference in the lives of girls everywhere.
A Girl Up favorite, the inaugural Girl Up Leadership Summit was held in 2012. At the time, it was a one-day event where less than 100 girls attended the event. The Girl Up Leadership Summit has always been a place for girls to come and learn about the challenges girls in developing communities face and what role they can play in helping them. We’re glad that every year, we’re able to expand our summit and bring more girls together to Washington, D.C. The 2017 Girl Up Leadership Summit had over 300 girls in attendance from more than 3 countries.
One of the ways Girl Up Club members made effective change was through advocacy. The Girls Count Act made sure that young girls were registered at birth, reducing their risk of early marriage, human trafficking, and child labor. The Girls Count Act was the second piece of legislation that Girl Up helped pass into law.
In 2014, Girl Up launched the SchoolCycle initiative because one of the biggest barriers keeping girls out of school is distance. The SchoolCycle initiative provides bicycles to girls in developing countries to help them access education and stay in school. This year we’re raising funds to send bikes to girls in Malawi. You can help too. Donate a bike and help us and our UN partners give 1,000 girls in Malawi a chance to complete their education and follow their dreams.
6. In 2015, the first WiSci Girls STEAM Camp is held in Rwanda.
Noticing that girls were under represented in STEM fields, in 2015 Girl Up, the U.S. Department of State, Microsoft, Intel, the AOL Charitable Foundation, and the Rwanda Girls Initiative all came together to create the WiSci Girls STEAM Camp, a 3-week camp focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics education. Since then, similar camps have been held for girls in Peru (2016) and Malawi (2017).
Girl Up has been fortunate to showcase many wonderful advocates for girls’ rights and female empowerment. At the Leadership Summit, experts in various fields get a chance to share their passion with young girls. Many amazing speakers present on a variety of topics, from human rights experts, to female CEO’s, and even Former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama.
2017 marked a huge step towards our global global commitment to girls’ empowerment. With the USD $1 million donation, Girl Up received from Disney’s #DreamBigPrincess campaign, our supporters and advocates proved that girls’ stories are important and deserve to be told. That’s why, even though the campaign may be over, we encourage you to continue to share your inspirational pictures online!
Today, on Girl Up’s anniversary we want to hear how Girl Up has changed your life. What were your favorite moments in the history of the campaign? Let us know in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org