Today, Thursday, October 11, 2012 honors and celebrates the lives of girls and behooves those in their communities to give back in the name of girls’ education and empowerment.
By Zanoon Nissar (Director of Events, Jolkona)

Never heard of it? That’s because this year marks the first time the United Nations has sanctioned such a day. And why not? Women make the world go round. They inspire, lead, challenge, and renew the lives we lead and the places we call home.

They also need our help. 10×10 is a transformative documentary that captures the day-to-day life of ten young girls from ten nations all over the globe. The heart of knowledge spearheading the film is this: when provided with adequate educational and social opportunities, girls change the world for the better. Check out the following infographic which succinctly illustrates the indelible impact girls make in others’ lives.


Day of the Girl Alliance

The filmmakers are backed by an incredible, diverse partnership between NGOs like La Pietra Coalition and Girl Up, project partners such as CNN Films and Business Online, and the leading strategic partner Intel. Together, they form an unbreakable bond of support for the 1st annual International Day of the Girl.

At Jolkona, where I’ve volunteered for the past three years, we believe that every girl deserves an equal chance at life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Education, economic independence, financial stability, adequate healthcare, and full legal representation; these are a handful of just goals among many that International Day of the Girl is all about. See these ambitions being fruitfully put into action through Jolkona’s partners, like a few standouts described below:

Promote Gender Equality & Empower Women

Empower Women in Nepal Through Higher Education: The Bo M. Karlsson Foundation is dedicated to advancing young Nepalese women through school beyond the primary level. Differing levels of gifts can provide them with much needed resources like transportation, an internet connection, school books, and even room, board and tuition.

Support Women Farmers in Sudan: Many women in their Sudanese communities are struggling to transform their poverty-stricken lives, which is why standing behind MADRE is so critical. Essential agricultural resources, like farming training, seeds, or a fresh plot of land, are made available through their hard work. In Sudan, women do the majority of farming with a dearth of support when it comes to land rights, income and more. Help MADRE change this.

Provide Education to the Females of Afghanistan: Look no further than Barakat for proof of exceptional work being accomplished for Afghani girls. The cultural taboos and societal imbalances for women pursuing education are significant, but far from insurmountable. Personally fund a girl’s accelerated literary class for only $40. Help these girls stay on track to blossom into highly literate, educated members of their community.

Support Rape Survivors in Haiti Displacement Camps: Sexual assault is a demeaning, destructive and inexorably heinous act. In the aftermath of such a traumatic event, professional resources and emotional support is imperative. MADRE, the previously mentioned women’s rights non-profit, works alongside women in Haiti offering hygiene kits and peer therapy sessions. International Day of the Girl should not pass in vain; instantly become an activist on behalf of marginalized women by making a donation.

Endorse this day as a symbol for the value and worth of women in our world.

Watch what amazing things girls will achieve if given a chance. Jolkona’s partners believe deeply and emphatically in promoting equality between the genders and doing whatever possible to empower women. When girls thrive, so too do their children, families, friends and communities.

Visit Jolkona’s project home base here and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and keep up to date with all we’re doing and the impact you are making.

Women 2.0 readers: What impact are you making in the world? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credit: Digital Literacy Project on Jolkona.
About the guest blogger: Zanoon Nissar is a Senior Account Manager at Google. For the past 3 years, she’s been involved with events for Jolkona, a non-profit that connects donors with global philanthropic opportunities. Zanoon mentors high school girls through Technovation and runs an employee volunteer program at Google. She is passionate about projects that merge mobile technology with social good, and co-developed an app that helps women get home safe at night.