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The Girl Effect: Helping to Change the Lives of Adolescent Girls Part 2

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Women influenced by the Girl Effect “The Girl Effect is the unique potential of 250 million adolescent girls in the developing world to end poverty for themselves and the world.” (Source: Julie Addicott, the Nike Foundation).

This excerpt comes from an interview with Julie Addicott, the Communications Specialist from the Nike Foundation. I had the privilege of speaking with Ms. Addicott about The Girl Effect and what they are accomplishing with the help of women like you!

Interview with the Julie Addicott from the Nike Foundation

The following are questions I asked Ms. Addicott.

Northway: Why did the Nike Foundation choose to be involved in The Girl Effect? What other organizations are working with you?

Addicott: The Nike Foundation created the Girl Effect to respond to two gaps in the field: a lack of awareness about the importance of investing in girls, and a lack of tools to help raise awareness. Despite her potential, girls today are nearly invisible. In developing countries she is more likely to be uneducated, a child bride, and exposed to HIV/AIDS. Yet less than two cents of every international development dollar is directed to her: 98% of funding goes elsewhere.

Women in school The Girl Effect is a movement characterized by and propelled through a website, social media, and powerful videos. The most critical element of the materials is that they are truly meant to be used by everyone – at whatever level, in whatever venue – to start a conversation about girls. It is a movement that actively incites individuals, organizations, and governments alike to learn, educate others, discuss, and create innovative solutions to get girls on the global agenda and unleash the potential of adolescent girls living in poverty to change the world.

The work behind the Girl Effect is grounded in research that the Nike and NoVo Foundations and other partners have been driving, such as the Girls Count reports published by the Center for Global Development, ICRW, and the Population Council, among others.

An Indian women harvestingNorthway: What are some positive changes you have seen with your efforts?

 

Addicott: The Girl Effect has been organic and viral, and has taken hold with the general public, with partners and with celebrities. Not only have girl champions successfully gotten adolescent girls on the global agenda at international conferences such as the Clinton Global Initiative, TED, World Economic Forum and influenced international organizations such as the World Bank and the UN, but they are also continuing to advocate for girls in their communities, schools, businesses, organizations, and governments. Students have started Girl Effect clubs, bloggers have started Girl Effect blog campaigns, and teenage girls in Malaysia have organized flash mobs to help raise awareness as part of the Girl Effect.

Northway: How can everyday people help with the cause?

Addicott: Become a girl champion. Help make girls visible. Stand up and be counted by becoming a fan of The Girl Effect on Facebook, and getting your friends to do the same. Tell the world that you think the 250 million girls in the developing world deserve better – for themselves, and for the end of poverty. That’s a start. Are you ready to learn and do more? Head over to TheGirlEffect.org.

Thank you Ms. Addicott for your time!  This is such valuable information and we really appreciate the work that you and the Nike Foundation are doing for the 250 million girls who deserve better!

To read more about The Girl Effect, please visit The Girl Effect: Helping to Change the Lives of Adolescent Girls Part 1.

What simple steps can you take to help improve the lives of women and children? How are you a girl champion?

Melissa Northway is a mom, writer of children’s picture books, and has written a storybook app and book called Penelope the Purple Pirate.  Her tomboy was the inspiration to write about a girl who likes to have adventures with her friends, and at the same time teach little ones the importance of treating others with kindness and respect. Penelope the Purple Pirate was chosen as a Top 10 Must-Have eBook by lilsugar of Popsugar.com and as a Top 10 Educational iPad app by Digital Storytime.  Penelope is available at the iTunes app store and on Amazon. You can read more about Penelope and Melissa at: www.melissanorthway.com.

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