How YOU Can Change OUR World. As co-author/photographer Alex Sangster says, “These girls are changing the world. You can pitch in!”
The book invites readers (and the girls in their lives) to collaborate with activist girls’ groups around the world. Volunteer. Contribute time, energy, and resources to empower activist girls locally and globally. Encourage your friends, networks, and communities to follow your example. Spread the word!
Here are some groups whose work we find inspiring, The names in bold italics are featured in Wonder Girls: Changing Our World.
Akili Dada, Kenya
Akili Dada (which means” Brainy Sister” in Swahili) scholars spend school breaks as Young Changemakers, organizing their home communities to solve a local problem. One girl started launched a library in the slum where she grew up. Another is teaching people who own no property to grow vegetable in recycled polyurethane bags.
Website - http://www.akilidada.org
Westlake Girls High School, Aukland, has the largest Amnesty International chapter in New Zealand. Members conduct Actions (walks, runs, competitions, performances) that enhance awareness of human rights issues and motivate students to sign petitions that stop abuse in countries around the world.
Website - https://www.amnesty.org/en/
Bye Bye Plastic Bags
Bye Bye Plastic Bags started when two sisters, ages 10 and 12, organized the children of Bali to collect a million signatures on a petition to stop the use of plastic bags on their island. The youngsters distribute reusable bags plus sponsor beach and roadside clean ups, fly their signature kite and do flash mobs to increase awareness of their cause. The governor has now promised to help stop the use of plastic bags by 2018 and the organization is expanding to other countries.
Website - http://www.byebyeplasticbags.org
COORDINADORA JUVENIL POR LA EQUIDAD DE GENERA
This group of girls and women in Latin America fight for reproductive rights and sexual autonomy. They organize demonstrations, attend protests, and advocate to their representatives.
Website - https://coordinadorajuvenilecuador.org
Creativity for Peace
Creativity for Peace is a three-year leadership program for Palestinian and Israeli high school girls that starts with a summer camp in Santa Fe where mornings are spent practicing Nonviolent Communications and Compassionate Listening. Afternoons are spent creating art in pairs: one Palestinian and one Israeli. Over time, Creativity for Peace girls discover, “An enemy is someone whose story you do not know.” They return home to lead peace projects in their own communities.
Website - http://creativityforpeace.com
Get Lit Players, Los Angeles, select a classic poem and write a spoken word poem in response, then perform both poems on platforms as diverse as the Hollywood Bowl and the White House. Get Lit has inspired teens to improve literacy and stem drop out rates among 30,000 low income youth in Southern California.
Website - http://getlit.org
Girl Activists of Kyrgyzstan
Girl Activists of Kyrgyzstan use the arts to advocate for gender equality and to fight discrimination, including bride kidnapping. They re-choreographed the national dance so a boy and a girl play equal roles; create graffiti, write blogs, make videos, draw comics and illustrate textbooks, all to make their point.
Girl Determined/Colorful Girls
Girl Determined’s program, Colorful Girls, includes 2,000 girls ages 12-17 throughout Myanmar who learn to conduct girl-led campaigns that cause social change. Projects range from increasing awareness that it’s dangerous to eat food that’s colored with chemical dyes---to distributing whistles to women riding crowded buses so they can literally blow the whistle on molesters.
Website - http://www.girldetermined.org/
Girl Be Heard
Girls develop, amplify, and celebrate their voices through theatre and acting.
Website - http://girlbeheard.org
Girls Empowerment Network
Fifty percent of the girls in Malawi used to be married off before they were 18; some, far younger. Members of Girls Empowerment Network and their allies lobbied for five years before Parliament passed a bill in 2015 making it illegal for girls to be married before age 18. The President signed it into law. Now GENET girls are working making people aware of the law and getting it implemented.
Website - http://www.genetmalawi.org/
Girls for a Change
Girls identify problems in their community and create innovative solutions. In doing so these girls learn their potential, visualize bright futures, and develop skills for success.
Website - http://www.girlsforachange.org
Girls fighting against a broad range of injustices facing their sisters around the world. With the help of the UN, which provides tools and connections, these girls head movements against problems such as access to education, sanitation, and reproductive education all over the world.
Website - https://girlup.org/#sthash.hjpzfY6C.dpbs
Global Girl Media
GlobalGirl Media-Chicago includes African American and Latina girls who use digital journalism to cause social change. They report on issues that concern them (typically not covered by mainstream media) and post their videos and blogs on GGMN.TV
Website - http://globalgirlmedia.org
Hardy Girls Healthy Women
Girls challenging misrepresentation, over-sexualization, and ignorance in the American media. They are constantly breaking out of the confines that are set for females. They aim to deconstruct stereotypes and sexist constructs prevalent in the media.
Website - http://hghw.org
Girls connect with professional filmmakers to create ground breaking, girl-driven films that focus on gender, race, sexual identity, reproductive rights, and relationships.
Website - http://immediatejusticeproductions.org/
Girls take photography classes, then take their new knowledge and use it to inspire self love, curiosity, and social change in their communities.
Website - http://kiooproject.org/
Founded by Nobel Prize-winning activist, Malala Yousafzai, this organization allows girls to support fellow girls’ education. They advocate on national and international levels for girls’ education and invest in girls’ education in poor, rural areas.
Website - https://www.malala.org/
This online community, started by a group of fed up school girls in the UK, aims to educate young men and women about appropriate language and sexism found in everyday conversation. They write educational articles, make videos, and create interactive games regarding flirting, sexting, and appropriate behavior in and out of relationships.
Website - http://www.oiimysize.com/
This online media company features almost entirely girl writers who write about body positivity, eating disorders, and current events in relation to girls’ bodies.
Website - http://proud2bme.org/
This girls group, like Girl Scouts with a social justice spin, teaches its members about social justice instead of sewing. In place of typical Girl Scout activities, these young activists attend protests, learn about injustice in their community, and inspire social change.
Website - http://radicalmonarchs.org/
Founded by girl activist Jessica Markowitz when she was just eleven years old, Richard’s Rwanda raises money to fund the education of girls in Nyamata, a rural Rwandan village.
Website - http://www.richardsrwanda.org/
Runners without Borders
Started by a young group of Israeli activists including Shoshana Ben David, this team brings Arabs and Israelis together through running and aims to deconstruct traditional hatred.
Website - https://www.runnerswithoutborders.org/
Rhythm of Life/Rhythmic Voices
Participants in Rhythmic Voices, daughters of sex workers in Kampala Uganda, are determined to go to school, which is often denied them, leaving them no choice but to follow in their mothers’ footsteps. They and their friends advocate for universal girls’ education, making presentations to institutions as diverse as schools, the YWCA, and the United Nations
School Girls Unite
School Girls Unite, which includes middle and high school girls in the Washington D.C. area, lobbies members of the US Congress to support universal education for girls. The group, working with Girls for a Change, inspired Barrack Obama to sign a proclamation making October 11 the National Day of the Girl. Get their free Action Game Plan!
Website - https://schoolgirlsunite.org
Shaheen Women’s Resource and Welfare Association
Girls at the Shaheen Women’s Resource and Welfare Association in Hyderabad’s Old City, India, draw safety maps that show locations where they experienced harassment or molestation. They give the maps to the police who increase surveillance in those areas. Shaheen girls, who are traditionally not allowed to sing, are inspired by Sufi devotional music; defying institutional, family and community constraints, they plan to record a CD substituting lyrics about girls’ freedom.
Website - http://shaheencollective.org
Sisters in Strength
This group of girls organizes events to combat gender based violence such as rallies, protests, and educational gatherings. They aim to challenge both individual and institutional discrimination.
This online community of girl activists features discussion on gender based issues, intersectional feminism, and a range of possible solutions. In addition to writing articles, these girls host book clubs, movie screenings, and discussions with leading feminists.
Website - http://www.sparkmovement.org/
Talitha girls in Tonga are working to stop child abuse, which is ubiquitous, illegal, and almost never discussed. The practice is the focus of a weekly call-in radio show the Talitha girls research and produce for a local station that reaches youngsters throughout the 170-island archipelago.
Technovation Challenge is a competition among middle and high school girls in 87 countries who create mobile phone apps that solve social problems. Each team writes a business plan to market their app. A team from Guadalajara Mexico won the $10,000 middle school prize in 2015 with an app to curb child obesity.
Website - http://technovationchallenge.org
The Arts Effect NYC
Girls use theatre, playwriting, and acting as a platform to bring attention to gender-based issues.
Website - http://theartseffectnyc.com/
WoteSawa (which means “We are Equal”) is a nongovernmental organization of child domestic workers in Mwanza Tanzania who may have been hired as young as six, then paid slave wages (if any). Wotesawa girls collaborate to improve working conditions, teaching each other to do more lucrative work (such as cooking and catering), and educating policymakers and employers to ensure them of fair treatment and legal rights.
Website - http://www.wotesawa.org/
Thirteen high school girls in San Francisco started this hashtag on social media in an attempt to create a culture of love, acceptance, positivity, and support.
Google #sistersupport for more information.