Five girls who inspire us
Oct 8, 2020
October 11 is International Day of the Girl—a very special day to celebrate the unlimited potential that exists inside every single girl worldwide.
But we know that not every girl has the same rights or opportunities.
That's why our work focuses on women and girls as the catalysts for change in their homes and communities. Because we know that when a women or girl has the rights and opportunities they need and deserve, they go on to affect change for many others around.
We're thrilled to introduce you to five amazing girls we've had the honour of meeting through our work to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice:
Shahed, whose family fled from their home in Dara'a, Syria, is a participant in a Syrian and Jordanian teen peer-to-peer support group at CARE's community centre in Irbid, Jordan.
"All of us have had to accept this new life, this ordeal. Everyone had plans for the future. Then, overnight, everything changed. Those plans were destroyed. Now my family are refugees, but at least we’re living in the community and not in a camp. This is something good. We are maybe four, six, maybe seven years in Jordan. We have many troubles—but we still think about our future—we still have hope. Life is meant to be an experience. We need to confront the difficulties, understand them, and move forward. The war has taught us a lot about life. I’ve learned that we’re each stronger than we think. On International Day of the Girl, I want to share with girls around the world: live the life you aspire to. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, but step by step face each of your challenges. Don’t let them stop you, don’t be slowed by negative emotions. You are stronger than you realize. We can achieve our dreams."
Iswak lives with her brothers and her grandmother in a camp for internally displaced people in Burao, Somaliland.
"My dream is to go to university. I want to become a doctor. My brothers support me. I am the only girl in the family and they want me to study hard and make them proud."
Less than half of the children in Somalia attend primary school. Girls living in rural areas are two times less likely to enroll in school than girls in urban areas, and more than four times less likely than boys. At Iswak's school, CARE has constructed new classrooms, girl friendly spaces, provided training for teachers, and learning material.
“Our life in Syria was difficult. We had to leave, because of the bombing. It was a very hard journey. When my mother heard about this class, she sent all of us so that we could learn to protect ourselves in difficult situations...My message for other girls around the world is to keep strong. Keep perfecting yourself. Whatever happens, don’t feel weak. Hold onto your strength. You’re stronger than you realize.”.
Rayan lives in in Azraq refugee camp in Jordan where CARE supports Taekwondo classes for Syrian girls in its community centre. Her coach Asef el Sabah says he sees the heart of a champion in Rayan.
"I live with my mum and dad and my 16-year-old brother," says Pheat, who lives in Cambodia. "My brother goes to school. We both know Khmer and Kreung. Each morning I help sweep and clean the house, wash and go to school. After school I rest, read books and do chores like looking after the cows and buffalos."
"I want to be a teacher or work somewhere like CARE. I want to help my parents and help other poor children so they have a bright future."
In Cambodia, CARE has helped to recruit and train Indigenous teachers, with a particular focus on women teachers. Most of the teachers had attended school up to Grades 8 or 9, and had received further training from CARE.
CARE has also produced text books and other classroom resources in four Indigenous languages. The text books cover the national curriculum and also incorporate elements of Indigenous culture and lifestyles.
Priyanka is the president of the Buddha Girls Club, which promotes girls' leadership and athletics in her school and is part of a larger project designed to prevent child marriage in Thumuhawa Piparahawa, Nepal. Priyanka asked to be pictured with her school work, as she intends to receive as much education as possible before considering marriage.
When they have the chance, girls have the power to change the world.
With your support, we can operate safe spaces for women and girls, can help girls get back to their education and personal growth, and can work with communities to unleash waves of change that will continue to grow for generations to come.
Add your name now to support her future and you can help remove the barriers a young girl faces in unlocking a better, brighter future for herself and her family.