Girls Inc. is one of Girls Up’s founding partners. The 13-week workshop was created and led by Karina Jougla, a 2012 Carpinteria High School graduate, as a community service project. Jougla serves as one of 16 national teen advisers for Girl Up.
Girls Inc. academic coordinator Jessica Wetzel helped implement the workshop.
Throughout the workshop, Girls Inc. girls in third through fifth grade learned about issues facing their counterparts in Girl Up’s focus countries: Guatemala, Malawi, Liberia and Ethiopia. Some of the issues the girls focused on included child marriage, water scarcity, education and health.
According to the Ford Foundation, one-third of girls in the developing world are married by age 18, and many girls may be married as young as age 5. Despite the daunting challenges facing adolescent girls in developing countries, education has proven to be the key to empowerment and economic independence. Research has shown that girls who receive an education marry later, have fewer children and are at less risk of contracting HIV; they are also more likely to reinvest in their communities.
Women in developing countries spend 90 percent of income on their families compared with 35 percent of men’s income, and this economic ripple called the “girl effect” is why Girl Up emphasizes investing in programs that benefit girls.
To culminate their Girl Up workshop, the Girls Inc. ladies planned a community outreach fundraiser. They set up a station on Linden Avenue for June’s First Friday, spoke with community members to share what they had learned and collected donations.
“The workshop was intended to raise awareness about the challenges facing girls in other countries, but our Girls Inc. girls wanted to do something to help,” Jougla said. “It was entirely their idea to hold a fundraiser, and they came up with the concept. As a member of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria for 13 years, I was proud to see our girls advocating in our community on behalf of girls everywhere.”
Click here for more information about the campaign or to give a “High Five” $5 donation that can provide a girl with school supplies, books or clean drinking water.
— Karina Jougla is an alumna of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria.