October 11th was adopted by the UN General Assembly as the International Day of the Girl Child. They did it to recognize girls’ rights and to promote girls’ empowerment.
Everywhere they work, World Vision incorporates these essential goals for girls into all their plans. They have youth programs in place to change harmful practices and attitudes held by parents, communities, and girls themselves. We see this up close in our projects in Syrian refugee camps, Kenya, and Honduras.
Meet Nahomy. Through World Vision’s youth-focused programming, Nahomy was determined to see a better future for herself and her family. She recently campaigned and was elected as the Youth Mayor of Yamaranguila, Honduras, at age thirteen! She speaks out against early marriage and teen pregnancy, inspiring youth to stay in school. She says, “Being educated means that I can take care of my family and my community.”
Nahomy knows first-hand how difficult the challenges of poverty can be for children and young people. When her father migrated for work, Nahomy lived alone with her grandparents on their struggling coffee farm for six years before he could return. With the support of her community and her World Vision child sponsor, Nahomy chose to draw on the strength of her family’s love and the support of her teachers and mentors to become a beacon of hope for others. Even before being elected as youth mayor, Nahomy was already a child rights advocate and community organizer.
This example is from a developing country, but there are also opportunities for us to encourage the rights and full participation of girls here at home. By denying equal rights to girls and women, we deny half the population a chance to live life at its fullest. Political, economic, and social equality for women and girls benefits everyone and strengthens families and communities.
You can respond to International Day of the Girl Child by remembering to pray for and support girls far away like Nahomy and those close to home in our own communities. When you make a gift to our World Vision projects or sponsor a child through World Vision, you are making a difference in the lives of girls. Thank you!