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What a busy few weeks it has been for our friends at the UN Foundation - starting with UN Summit on Millennium Development Goals, to the Mashable Social Good Summit and UN Week Digital Lounge, and finally closing it off with the launch of their Girl Up campaign.
Girl Up connects American girls with ways to help their female peers in developing countries who aren't able to get the same opportunities to go to school, get medical care and treatment, be heard and included in their communities' decisions, and face such unimaginable challenges as child marriages. Through Girl Up, American girls have many ways to apply their passion to help through programs that raise both awareness and funds for girls around the world, starting with giving them a "High Five" through 5 simple steps including donating $5 (or more) to help provide basic needs and access to education, better health, and life saving services.
On Thursday evening, I attended the kickoff to their Unite for Girls Tour pep rally at the Vanderbilt YMCA in NYC. The tour is traveling around the country, setting up in gymnasiums, malls and community venues (like the YMCA) to connect with local girls directly to teach them about issues in other countries, connect them with each other, and get them excited about the campaign. It was such an energizing event to be a part of ... the excitement and enthusiasm of about 300 teen and tween girls from the community was deafening (sometimes literally)! Plus, the evening featured celebrity appearances from campaign supporters, Victoria Justice and Nigel Barker.
No one is able to talk about Girl Up like its program director, Kimberly Perry, so I pulled her aside to quickly describe Girl Up for us. As you can imagine, it was virtually impossible to find a quiet un-trafficked area of this vibrant YMCA to do a video interview, so please excuse the sound quality of this ad hoc taping with my Droid phone.
Also, here are some photos from the event on our Facebook page! Check back as we continue to provide more updates and features on this incredible program on our blog and be sure to go to www.GirlUp.org for more information.