On October 11th, the world celebrated the International Day of the Girl Child for the seventh year in a row. 2012 was the first year the United Nations marked such a day, with the purpose of empowering all females around the globe and encouraging the fulfilment of their human rights. In recognition of the day, the female staff members of Determined to Develop (D2D) hosted a program for all the female youth in the area, including those sponsored by D2D and those who participate in D2D’s female youth empowerment program. The program took place on a Saturday of the same week which the Day of the Girl Child fell. Together, the local primary school girls (ages 7-13) and the local form 1-4 girls (ages 14-20) came to the Maji Zuwa pavilion to celebrate their place and purpose in the world.
To start the program, the girls had the privilege to hear a guest speaker. D2D invited the female deputy teacher from one of the community’s schools. She inspired the girls to stay focused on their education, expressing how hard work and smart decisions will allow them to create a future of their own, as independent and empowered young women. Afterwards, several of the girls read poems which they created. One was titled “Girls, Girls,” and read, “Girls, girls lead the nation. Critical thinking, hard work, and innovation. With education we will not fall, get an education. Education is for all.” Some of the form 1-4 girls also performed a drama, which conveyed reasons why they’re all proud to be a girl.
D2D staff members all spoke on a specific topic to the girls as well. One centered on the progression females have made over the course of time. It emphasized how females were once excluded from the education, workplace, and political arena throughout history. Showcasing how those who have come before boldly and courageously fought in order for women and girls to receive the same education as males, hold the same career positions, exercise their right to vote, and even lead countries in certain areas within our world today. Letting the girls know that every year, females further progress in exemplifying that when given a fair chance and equal rights, women and girls everywhere have the ability to make the world a stronger and better place.
Another one centered on working with each other, rather than against, to uplift one another as females and be positive role models for all. The talks concluded with the D2D staff members encouraging the girls to always embrace who they are, and to continue to stand together to achieve even greater equality for females everywhere. After which, a lot of singing, dancing and laughter was had in the sun at Maji Zuwa, with the girls celebrating hand in hand how powerful and special it is to be a girl in today’s society. The program was a great success overall and very uplifting for the staff to witness. D2D continuously strives to contribute to the enhancement of opportunity and equality for all females, and is proud to have taken part in such an empowering day for all the local girls.