Monday, December 19

What Can I Do?

Over the past few days, I have been getting a lot of emails saying, “Great video! Very inspiring. Now, what can I do?

I'm so glad you asked.

There is a ton of stuff you can do, but probably the easiest and fastest is to donate! Even if it's not much, every little bit makes a difference. For example, $25 can by a smokeless stove (important for improving indoor air quality), $20 can buy a family health checkup, and $10 can buy 2 fruit trees or 8 pounds of vegetable seeds (The International Humanitarian Foundation)!

Bead for Life
On my webpage, I have a link to donate to the Girl Effect, an organization that raises awareness, collects donations, and gives money to various projects that help girls in the developing world. You can even donate in honor of someone you love or in memory of someone you have lost.

Or, if you are looking for some good holiday gifts, you should visit This year, I bought some of their jewelry for myself, my sisters, and my friends, and the items are simply beautiful. As a teenage girl, I can promise you they are fashionable! Plus, they are for a good cause. The beads are made from recycled paper by Ugandan women, and all the proceeds go to benefit these women and help them support their families and their communities. You can even host a bead party and get all of your friends involved!

I "wear the Girl Effect" on my computer desktop!
Besides donating, you can spread awareness! Post Facebook statuses about surprising facts you discover about the health and education of women. Share links to various pages on Twitter. Start a conversation with your friends. Wear the Girl Effect. Watch and spread videos like mine, this one, this oneor any of the videos on this page.

You could also host a fundraiser, like a raffle, a bake sale, a fun run, or a car wash to raise money. Check out this one-heck-of-a bake sale from She's the First, which "sponsored 46 girls by raising $21,000 through eight days of cupcake sales across the country!" 

There are so many worthy causes to give to. I've already directed you to The Girl Effect, The International Humanitarian Foundation, Tostan, and Bead for Life, but now I would also like to give a quick shout out to the Women's Resource Center based in Siem Reap, Cambodia, which is "dedicated to advancing the rights of girls and women and improving access to information and services so that women in Cambodia will be empowered to make their own decisions and improve their own quality of life, for themselves and their children." According to director Bouny Te, "When women realize that they do have value in society and that they can move beyond traditional roles in respectful ways, they can then emerge as equals." The Women's Resource Center also offers regular group "workshops" focused on parenting skills, maternal health, childcare, legal aid, and literacy. These groups are open to the community and provide a forum for discussion, education, and mutual aid that is not available anywhere else in Siem Reap. They do not receive any financial support from the government in Cambodia but are dependent soley on private donations.

If you are interested in the plight of girls in developing nations and want to learn more about it, you should definitely read NY Times journalist Nick Kristof's Half the Sky. It is incredibly beautiful and heart-breaking.

Taken in Nicaragua by Kayeli B.
Finally, the best way you can help is to get out there and see it for yourself! Or so I've heard. I'm only seventeen and haven't gotten the chance to do so yet, but I absolutely plan on it. I know everyone has a busy life though, so it is still important to do what you can from home. However, my understanding is that reading about or even watching a video about bride-burning, human trafficking, female genital cutting, obstructed labor, rape, honor killings, obstetric fistulas… you can never quite appreciate until you see it for yourself.

Thank you so much for your interest, your compassion, and your giving spirit.


  1. This is so great! I just saw your video today and I will share it as much as I can. I work for a very well know humanitarian organization in the new Country South Sudan and I hope we can develop girls/woman empowerment activities all over the country. Education and empowerment - so important.

    Thank you for the wonderful video and for your blog.

  2. It IS an inspiring video and I really needed to see something like this. There is so much discouraging news about women around the world. John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote a song in the 70's entitled "Woman Is the Nigger of the World", which was often banned for obvious reasons. However, it is all too painfully clear how little has changed. You might be interested in the blog I just wrote with the same title as the song at Keep up the good work.

  3. Another great action is sharing a video on Every video shared raises $1 for women and girls around the world. Or, if you're interested in a great holiday gift, consider giving the gift of health. $25 to Pathfinder International can provide infection prevention training manuals for 4 doctors:

  4. Hi, I am very impressed for your video. I am not sure if money really goes to the right persons, I know your culture is different, but I live in a (former) non developed country in Latin America, and I see everyday how NGO's and activists use the money for them and the rests for the people really need it. BUT I know that a little is better than nothing. Anyway. If you need help translating your video to spanish I can help with it.