Children are like blank canvases. We, the people around them, are responsible for who they become. Like sponges, they soak up what they see and hear, and those things are embedded into their memories. There’s a difference though, between little girls and little boys. Little girls are faced with issues and hardship before they even understand it, but they see it, they hear it, and the older they get, the more apparent it becomes. There are issues like gender roles, male privilege, rape culture, just to name a few, that little girls cannot escape.
#DayoftheGirl was created to bring awareness and put an end to this dilemma. It’s mission is “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm for goals to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership, and reach their full potential”. Since 2011, The United Nations has dedicated October 11th to fighting for rights and opportunities for all girls everywhere.
“October 11 is not just a day; it’s a movement. A worldwide revolution.”
In light of International Day of the Girl, #HipNJ would like to highlight two phenomenal programs created by two different generations of “girls”. These programs are the embodiment of the meaning behind #DayoftheGirl. Their missions revolve around ensuring that girls have the proper tools to be the best that they can be, despite the trials brought on by society.
The first program is “Girls Helping Girls. Period.”, based right in South Orange, NJ. This program was founded by 17 year old Emma Joy and 13 year old Quinn Joy, teenage sisters who wanted to provide women and girls in need with feminine hygiene products. Because these products are not covered by food stamps, some females are forced to miss work or school because they can’t afford the proper items. Emma and Quinn could not believe this and therefore started this non-profit organization. Today, they donate a year’s supply of products to every client they help.
“At Girls Helping Girls. Period. we believe feminine hygiene is a matter of basic health. And human dignity. We’re dedicated to educating people on the need, and collecting/distributing products. We give our clients a full year’s supply of products.”
“This problem needs recognition from anyone. It’s not just about girls helping girls, it’s everyone helping each other.” -Quinn Joy
The next program is “Unstoppable Girls Foundation“, founded by Caryl R Lucas, located in Clifton, NJ. In addition to being the founder of Unstoppable Girls, Caryl is also a girl’s activist and motivational speaker. This non-profit organization is dedicated to bully prevention and the health and wellness girls. She founded the Unstoppable Girls Empowerment Summer Retreat in 2013 to provide girls, ages 11-21 with workshops that touch on cyber safety, body image, bully prevention, self-esteem, healthy relationships, and social media. Today, the mission is the same. Unstoppable Girls offers workshops, events, and the summer retreat, in an attempt to produce confident female leaders.
“The core of our work is affirming that our girls are smart, unique respectful, creative, beautiful, fearless and comfortable in their own skin. When girls are inspired & educated, they are Unstoppable!”
On this year’s #InternationalDayoftheGirl, #HipNJ just wanted to shed some light on a few New Jersey based #GirlHeroes who are working towards the ultimate goal of this international holiday. With girls and women being the underdogs of society, we all need to stick together to ensure that no female gets lost in this image. Because I am a woman myself, this day is very special to me. Today we celebrate us, girls EVERYWHERE. We speak up. We help one another. We take control.