Friday, July 25, 2008

The Girl Effect

I came across this web site and video on the Heath brothers, Made to Stick blog. This video is very powerful and made me want to immediately do something to help the girls that are discussed. I am beginning to help by posting the video here and sharing this information with others in my book clubs, my church, and my community.

In times when it seems so overwhelming to find ways to help reverse all the bad things that are going on in other parts of the world, this video on The Girl Effect really struck me. I can do something to help these girls across the world. I am going to see what I can do to donate to Episcopal Relief and Development to provide livestock for a community in the developing world. This site allows you to donate money to donate money to midwest flood victims and mosquito nets to people in sub-Saharan Africa. It also has options to send money for clean water, health, and more.

I am also going to put money up for a business loan for a woman/girl at the Kiva web site. This site matches donors with people in developing countries who need start up money to begin their business. It gives you a description of the business and how much money the request is for and how much others have already donated. This money is returned by the recipient within a year to 18 months usually.

I am going to try to get many women I know to do at least one of these to help increase the good the Girl Effect can do. Please help!


JBlack said...

Laurie -

Sometimes I can't believe how things all weave together. A friend of mine calls it a "God thing". Here's what I mean.

Just recently you left a comment at my blog regarding a map on the first ISTE NETS. You mentioned many wonderful things (thanks for the two additional movie title), but most importantly shared The Girl Effect hyperlink with me.

A few weeks ago, I started reading Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Relin, a book that caught my eye because I'm involved in a group that delivers medical and educational goods to AIDS orphans in Malawi, Africa. The book shares the incredible power one man has (Greg Mortenson) to bring about change. He wanders into a Pakastani town, and before he leaves, vows to come back and build a school for the children who have none. To date, he, and the organization he founded, have built 55 schools in very same geographical area that has spawned the Taliban. And get this, the schooling is just as much for girls and for boys. Just last night I read how, he too, believes strongly in the "girl effect" (p209):

"Once you educate the boys, they tend to leave the villages and go search for work in the cities...But the girls stay home, become leaders in the community, and pass on what they've learned. If you really want to change a culture, to empower women, improve basic hygiene and health care, fight high rates of infant mortality, the anwswer is to educate girls".

Two days ago, a colleague came to visit me and saw I was reading the book, which she had recently finished. Two of her grown children would actually like to help educate children in Pakistan and Afghanistan, much like Mortenson does.She also shared that she gave to the Kiva project, which I'd never heard of but now have come across twice in one week.

At lunch today before reading your blog post, I was sharing with a good friend that one of my goals this year is to start a club at my high school called WHOA (Warm Heart of Africa) and work in conjuction with Community Treks to get supplies to the orphanages. A major part of what we do also will be to fund one girl's education thru COTNI in hopes getting the "girl effect" going.

I teach a Web 2.0 class where students choose a social issue and blog to bring awareness and change. I'm planning already to show the "girl effect" video, adding it to "The Water Buffalo" video I discovered last yea. I want students to know that one person can do quite a lot, as witnessed here, and as witnessed by Greg Mortenson. Thank you so much for leaving the comments on my blog and for leading me to wonderful and meaningful material.

Denver, Colorado

JBlack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JBlack said...

Laurie -

Oops! Forgot another thing that just happened yesterday. I read this post

and was intrigued that Tim O'Reilly was really encouraging others to "tackle the big, hard problems with web 2.0." and to "Make a difference". I entered the contest and said...
"I'd bid to send three web celebrities on a week long trip to visit AIDS orphanges in Malawi, Africa, with the condition that they would write web articles about these two things upon their return.

A. Their experiences with the children and orphange operators while there.

B. Their ideas on how "Web 2.0" can make a huge impact on really, really big problems like this.

Wouldn't it be a radical if this really became an auction item? I think it would be powerful!!