Founder of The Global Girls Campaign
Founder of the Digital Diaries
- Tell us a bit about yourself and your background before founding the Global Girls Campaign
I was always an avid writer and have always been passionate about women’s rights. It was the reason I began studying journalism and why I officially began blogging. Before applying for graduate school, I created The Digital Diaries. The Digital Diaries is where I go to write about a number of different issues that affect women worldwide. Many of these issues, I believe, still do not receive enough media attention. I had written about FGM, honor killings, femicide in Italy, and other topics. Still, the more time that I spent looking for information and reading about women and their struggles, the more I felt like I wasn't doing enough to spread awareness for women’s rights. I was writing, but I wasn't being active enough.
- What short & long term goals would you like to accomplish through the campaign?
Short term, I would like to see people come and volunteer to be a part of the campaign. At the moment, any writers, bloggers, photographers, directors, and artists are welcome. For the moment, I am solely designing merchandise which helps spread awareness for different issues. The clothing is eco-friendly and each purchase helps support the cause of the customers choice. The GGC is looking for ways to creatively reach out to people and spread awareness.
My long term goals, to simply put it, would be to see The Global Girls become an official campaign. I would love to see the campaign thrive on an international level. Art exhibitions, documentaries, official members, and the ability to track the progress being made in different countries...I would love to see all of this in my lifetime.
- What would you say is the biggest challenge facing Tanzanian girls wanting access to education?
Like with many situations, it is the deeply rooted social norms which prevent girls from attending school full time. Many of these girls are missing education because they are either forced into marriage at a young age and/or find themselves pregnant and unable to study. I wanted to be part of a project that would help girls realize their potential and help them see that they have a right to an education and a choice. I discovered the Go-Eco volunteer program which focuses on girl empowerment in Moshi. I will be working with them in May and it is my hope that I will gain a deeper insight into what it is these girls must go through and what must be done to ensure that all girls are given an education. I plan to return to the village again and hopefully by that time, GGC will have more volunteers and members who can help these girls even further.
- Is there a particular reason you chose Tanzania as the focus of your current round of fundraising?
Yes, I chose Tanzania because I wanted to work with a sustainable volunteer group. I saw that they were also passionate about girls education and thought that this would be the best place to gain hands-on experience. The campaign is still growing, in fact, it's just the beginning. I am hoping that I will learn a lot more about what it takes to empower girls and a community. I also hope that by the time that I visit the education center again, enough money will have been raised for these girls.
- Can you talk about any upcoming projects?
The GGC shop is still underway, but each design represents a different cause. For example, when purchases are made towards ending child marriage, the profits will go towards supporting after-care programs for these girls and provide them with an education so that they may choose what to do with their own lives. I would love to raise enough money and members to produce a documentary which explains all the different problems that women face globally. There are still so many issues that are not receiving enough attention.