Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Did you know that one third of the world's illiterate population resides in India? If immediate action is not taken, it is estimated that by 2020 one half of the world's illiterate population will live in this country. The language diversity of India (only 30 percent of Indians speak Hindi and 19 languages have official status in the country) as well as an entrenched caste system and persistent poverty present unique hurdles to obtaining an education. Although schooling is free and mandatory until age 14, it is estimated that 40 percent of students (primarily girls) drop out before secondary school. Despite these dire statistics, there is good reason for optimism for the future of this wonderful country. There is a strong NGO community in India which Room to Read has been able to partner with in order to increase their impact in this region. We at GSG are excited that our next school project is in India. We hope you are excited as well!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We at Girls Supporting Girls are devastated by the senseless terrorist attack in Peshawar. Our hearts go out to all of the children, teachers and families affected by this act of cowardice. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Half the Sky Author Discusses His New Book

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently spoke on the topic of "New Aid in a New Age: Understanding International Development" at a sold out event sponsored by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Mr. Kristof was in town to discuss his new book, A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity which he co-authored with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn. Much of the evening's discussion focused on the education of girls. In describing smart girls as "agents of change", Mr. Kristoff noted that terrorist groups such as The Taliban, ISIS and Boko Haram had good reason to suppress the education of girls. Studies show that the education of girls leads to economic growth, greater participation of women in public life, lower birthrates and greater influence by mothers over their sons. All of these factors decrease the risk of extremism taking hold in a community. While acknowledging the need for military action in battling these terrorist groups, Mr. Kristoff also encouraged leaders to use education and women's empowerment as tools to fight extremism. Describing education as "an escalator out of poverty", he urged attendees to get to work on creating opportunity for all. We at GSG couldn't agree more.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Congratulations Malala!

We're back with some great news! Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!   At 17, the champion of education for girls worldwide is the youngest recipient in the award's history.

Even better, the award comes just in time for International Day of the Girl on October 11th.

We've got a great way for you to celebrate: Help us make the final push to raise money to build our first school. The Kampong Secondary School on Siem Reap province is set to break ground, and we've got just over $3,000 to go. The school will hold 155 students who are eager to learn.

We can't wait to get started, and we hope you'll join us!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Build Bash highlights: Q Brothers' "Girls Supporting Girls" rap!

The first of many fun moments from yesterday's awesome Build Bash! Thanks to all of our supporters for making the afternoon such a big success!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A real life example of a girl supporting girls

One of the goals of Girls Supporting Girls is to engage young people in our community to advocate on behalf of and raise funds to support their peers in the developing world. Our guest blogger, Amy R., is fulfilling that mission. Here's what she had to say......

On my thirteenth birthday, I had a surprise party. Earlier, my mom asked what my ideal gift would be. Ever since watching Girl Rising and learning about Girls Supporting Girls, I wanted to support the cause. So I told my mom that all I really wanted for my birthday was to help GSG. I knew, though, that I had to elaborate on that by finding an actual way to help the organization.

At my party, my mom told me she had put in the invitation that instead of bringing presents, people should bring $5 to $10 donations for Girls Supporting Girls. After my party, I opened the envelopes to find $20 and $60 donations, all with notes of encouragement supporting the cause! When I finished counting up the money, I realized we had raised $350. I thought this was a great way to get people in the spirit of Girls Supporting Girls! What an easy but effective way to help the organization. By asking for donations instead of gifts, I was able to help build schools. 

We couldn't agree more Amy.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

All In: Rachel's McClain's Charity Poker Night

"At our house, we love games. That's why we decided to host a no-limit
hold'em poker tournament to benefit Girls Supporting Girls. We invited
eight of our poker-playing friends and kept it casual, serving pizza,
salad and lots of poker snacks! 

The agreement was that half of every player's ante would go to our cause. My husband, Anthony Qaiyum ran the tournament. At the last minute, our guests agreed that for the
first hour, anyone who went out of the game could buy back in,
enabling us to exceed the $500 goal we had set for a GSG donation. 

The game went on past midnight, and we had some very exciting moments. The
1st and 2nd place winners, Robert Taylor and David Brown surprised
everyone by deciding to donate their prizes back to Girls Supporting
Girls. How generous! At the end of the evening, we raised more than $1,300.

What a night!"

Sunday, March 9, 2014

We haven't been in hibernation …

It's been a tough winter, but GSG hasn't been hiding under a pile of warm blankets. We're working on some exciting things (a new website among them, details TBA!)

Our board has been busy getting the word out about our mission and raising money for our first school in Cambodia.

Board member/CPS teacher Andrea Moffat organized a school-wide read-a-thon at Ruben Salazar Bilingual Center:

"As a second grade teacher, I am always looking for ways to inspire my students to read more and get excited to learn about the world around them. What better way than to motivate them to build a school for children in need in Cambodia?  I approached my principal and the other teachers, who all supported the cause and agreed to encourage their students to participate.  

Each teacher asked their students to make reading goals based on numbers of pages they would read.  Goals varied from 50 to 2,000 pages, and each student took home a packet to record what they read and the pledge money they collected.  Over the next four weeks, students challenged themselves to read more at home than they normally do, in an effort to raise pledge money.  In my classroom, we read the story Running Shoes, about a little girl from a rural Cambodian village who dreams of going to school.  We talked about the need for education, and the students realized (at least I hope!) that they were actually lucky to be coming to school everyday. 

At the end of the four weeks, students proudly presented me with zip-lock baggies and envelopes stuffed with nickels and dollars, along with stapled papers of the pages and books they had read.  As a school, we raised over $300 dollars for Girls Supporting Girls, and I hope to continue the read-a-thon tradition at Ruben Salazar."

Board member Pam Robinson hosted a candlelight yoga event: 

"We welcomed a full studio of friends and yoga enthusiasts to Lakeview's  Namaskar Yoga in February for a benefit candlelight class. Teacher Chris Delizer lead the group in deep conscious breathing; giving and receiving; heart opening poses to create abundance; and standing poses to create a strong foundation -- all with a focus on GSG’s current initiative to build our first school in Cambodia. The evening progressed with food, wine and socializing. 

Thank you to Alexandra Murman and Namaskar Yoga for offering the cozy studio for the evening and donating the event fees to GSG. Thank you also to Chris for teaching an inspiring class. And, most of all, a generous thank you to all who attended. A lovely evening at the studio!"

Next: Read about Board members Rachel McClain and Kira Elert's respective Poker Night and Spring Trends salon parties!