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Rural schools, red tape and island time.

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One of the schools we work with in rural RakiRaki lost 8 of its classrooms in a fire last week that they believe was deliberately lit.

The classrooms lost in a fire last week at Penang Sangham High School, RakiRaki

3 of the girls we support are among 180 students who now have to cram into a hall for lessons until the rooms can be rebuilt, which will potentially take up to a year. Rural schools and red tape and island time make for a slow process.

More pressing is the loss of books in the fire and the students who need them for upcoming senior exams.

So a Girl & her world is asking for your help to replace these books that aren’t able to be replaced by the school, the expense will be put back on the students.

Kids in rural Fiji don’t use computers and rely on their books to get them through. Your generosity could help these girls pass their senior exams.

I spoke with the principal earlier in the week and he is so grateful for the a Girl & her world support network…so thank you!

You can give to the Book Appeal in a few ways, you can click here and go through to the Give page on our website, or you can click here to support our team running in the Blackmore’s running festival next weekend!

OR maybe you’d like to be part of helping the school rebuild in other creative ways. Maybe your kid’s school community could create an artwork for their new rooms or collect and send over some stationery kits?

Thank you for your ongoing support, it’s changing lives…

Warmly,

Jane and the a Girl & her world team

Newsletter – 3rd edition

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‘a Girl & her world’ believes that no matter where she lives or which family she was born into, a girl was created for this process, built for it in all its beauty, strength, wonder and value. 



Why girls?

Glad you asked, it’s a great question! UN Exec Director for women Michelle Bachelet says, “When women are healthy and educated the benefits extend to their children, communities and nations. Poverty and malnutrition decline, living standards improve and economic growth increases”.
I read a blurb recently by the awareness campaign ‘The Girl Effect’…they said,“We did some research. Had we found that the solution to poverty was rubber bands, we would be promoting rubber bands. Instead, we found that it was a girl”.
Click here to see their amazing clip on The Girl Effect and why educating girls is so powerful.
In many parts of the Pacific, education is not valued and especially not for girls. We are working to change this! In Fiji, the facts and figures tell us that literacy is high and most children go to school. We serve the ones that slip through the cracks, don’t stay at school and are set up to perpetuate cycles of poverty, especially in rural areas.
Like a Girl & her world – Newsletter # 3 [July 2012] on Facebook
We value every contribution to a Girl & her world no matter how big or small, or whether it’s money, time, skill, sharing a link to our blogon Facebook or retweeting us on Twitter

Thank you!

Drop us a line, we’d love to hear how what we are doing together resonates with you,

Much love and gratitude,
Jane and the ‘a Girl & her world’ team

Pick a Project

With new girls, comes new income supporting projects for their families.  If you are interested in supporting a family to become sustainable, please click on this link

1. We need 2 x bee boxes at $200 each
Which includes the gear needed to care for and harvest the bees.

2. We need 2x gardening tool kits at $200 eachA family we would like to help with veggie gardening were trying to earn a living using a sweets cart like this pictured to sell sweets at their local school. They live on a fertile piece of land and with your help will be able to plant and harvest veggies. This way they can feed their own family and sell the rest at the market

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Welcome to our third newsletter and what an exciting few months we have experienced.  Nine months into ‘a Girl & her world’, we are super happy to be able to share with you that we are now supporting 12 girls to stay at school in RakiRaki.  This is awesome !

Along with supporting these girls, We are also committed to ensuring their parents have the opportunity to be self sufficient. We have some new projects that we would love your support with. A heartfelt thanks to all our ongoing and new sponsors for your generosity and for sharing our vision to be a part of a brighter and more optimistic future for these girls.  Read on to see what we have been up to.

Franziska in Fiji 

Our first exchange student has recently returned from a 2 week experience in RakiRaki.  Hosted be our wonderful in country co-ordinator, Urmila…she shares a personal insight into her experiences.

Volunteering in Fiji and spending 2 weeks with Urmila’s family and meeting the girls along with their families first hand, has undoubtedly been the time of my life.

I arrived in Fiji excited and a little nervous, as I had never been to Fiji and had no idea what would await me. However, I needn’t have worried because already on my fist day I experienced the friendliness of the people, as I was welcomed into Urmila’s family as her daughter.

Working with the sponsored girls I learnt about their dreams for the future, dreams that for me are easily reached, but which are hindered by the many obstacles that these girls face in their everyday life. The openess of the people surprised me, wherever I went I was welcomed into the house with smiles, hugs and kisses, as they showed their gratitude that a stranger was interested in their story.

Already at the end of my second day I wished that I could just throw my hands around the whole town and fix everyone’s problems. It was heartbreaking to see that girls my age don’t have a clear future before them… while I took my life for granted.

I am thankful for the opportunity to actually see and experience life through the eyes of these girls. Having met and connected with these wonderful people, definitely brings the importance of their support closer to my heart’

Fransiska attends the German International school in Sydney and is committed to being a part of  ‘a Girl & her world ‘ and the journey she has started.

Like a Girl & her world – Newsletter # 3 [July 2012] on Facebook


Girl Ambassadors

If you are interested in becoming an ambassador for ‘a Girl & her world’, we’d love to hear from you.  We already have 3 young talented and passionate girls who are flying the flag in their local school and home communities.  A girl ambassador is someone who understands what we are about, is committed to our cause of supporting the education of girls in Fiji and other parts of the Pacific… and believes they can make a difference.  It’s a simple as working with your school to organise a cake stall, a gold coin mufti day or another fundraiser.  Message us on FB or email us oninfo@agirlandherworld.org if this sounds like you.

Like a Girl & her world – Newsletter # 3 [July 2012] on Facebook


We Are Running for our Girls!

As part of the Sydney Blackmore’s Running Festival on September 16, we have a team of runners [and walkers] who will be donning pink shirts, ‘a Girl & her world’ caps and clocking up the km’s to raise funds.  Some of us are doing the 9 km bridge run, the half marathon and one amazing male machine in training for the 42 km full marathon!  We have people running for our cause that we have not even met yet, which is pretty exciting.  If you are interested in joining us or wish to sponsor us instead  Click here

Like a Girl & her world – Newsletter # 3 [July 2012] on Facebook


Focus on Dreams

While in Fiji recently our volunteers Franziska and Ulrike, held focus groups at some of the schools we work with. Girls were asked to respond to the following statements. “When I dream about my future…I imagine” They were also asked to write down any barriers to achieving their future.

 “ I want to be a doctor but my family is very poor so I have to try and stay at school so I can get a job and support them. Staying in school is hard because I have to do housework and cooking before and after school and we don’t have any electricity so it’s hard to do my homework at night”

“I want to be a teacher and go to a prestigious college! This is difficult as my father is the main breadwinner in our home and he is sick. Both my parents stay at home and we don’t have much money to buy what our family needs. Sometimes when we don’t have anything, I prefer to go to school even without food as I don’t want to be at home”

“I always see myself working in a hospital when I grow up. I dream about my family’s happiness, I want to help them when I am grown”

When we read these we choked up, not just with compassion but with gratitude that we can help mend some of these wings so these little birds can fly!

Like a Girl & her world – Newsletter # 3 [July 2012] on Facebook


Corporate Social Responsibility

We are presenting to the Nth Sydney Rotary sunrise club this September to look at ways we can work together to put ‘a Girl & her world’ on the map in the corporate world.  This is a very exciting opportunity that opens all sorts of doors for both organisations.
If you are part of a business that is committed to social responsibility and what we are about, we’d love the opportunity to come and meet with you.  Email us on info@agirlandherworld.org

Newsletter – 2nd Edition

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Why girls?

Glad you asked, it’s a great question! UN Exec Director for women Michelle Bachelet says, “When women are healthy and educated the benefits extend to their children, communities and nations. Poverty and malnutrition decline, living standards improve and economic growth increases”.

I read a blurb recently by the awareness campaign ‘The Girl Effect’…they said, “We did some research. Had we found that the solution to poverty was rubber bands, we would be promoting rubber bands. Instead, we found that it was a girl”.

Click here to see their amazing clip on The Girl Effect and why educating girls is so powerful.

In many parts of the Pacific, education is not valued and especially not for girls. We are working to change this! In Fiji, the facts and figures tell us that literacy is high and most children go to school. We serve the ones that slip through the cracks, don’t stay at school and are set up to perpetuate cycles of poverty, especially in rural areas.

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Support our Projects

If you would like to support any of these needs, please click here to go through to our Give page or email us…thank you, your generosity really does make a difference!

We value every contribution to a Girl & her world no matter how big or small, or whether it’s money, time, skill, sharing a link to our blog on Facebook or retweeting us on Twitter

Thank you!

Drop us a line, we’d love to hear how what we are doing together resonates with you,

Much love and gratitude,

Jane and the ‘a Girl & her world’ team

Partners

We are blessed to have some great businesses partnering with us, among them Castle Design, Simon Bailey Design, Knibb&Kaine and Every Little Girl. This edition we’d love to tell you about Kisschasey Photography….

Sophie from Kisschasey has commited to donating $25 of each session fee to support us! See her recent blog about wanting to make a difference… Thanks so much Sophie you really are!

 

 

Welcome to our second newsletter.

Six months into the journey of ‘a Girl & her world,  we are now supporting a number of girls and their families.  We have been able to make some great connections with people in the Pacific who are committed to the cause of educating girls and keeping them at school.

Thank you to our faithful supporters …we are humbled by your generosity either with time, skills and resources…

Here is an update on where your generosity is helping us go

Since our first newsletter back in February Fiji has been devastated by flood. This image taken just a few weeks ago, shows the devastation that has claimed lives named the worst in years. If you’ve been to Nadi, this is Nadi town and surrounds under water! Our team missed this by 2 days!

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Trip update

A Girl&Her World team members Jane, Joanna and Kym as well junior members Jess, Maddy and Ellie visited Fiji in March. We were hosted by Urmila and travelled near and far to meet the girls we support and saw how their families work hard to make ends meet. We loved seeing the determination of each girl to work towards her dreams despite the odds stacked against her.

We saw how income-generating projects can make an enormous difference to the quality of life for families and restore dignity to those wanting to work but simply lacking the opportunity.

Read our most recent blog about one Mum whose life is about to become a whole lot more efficient thanks to your generosity.

We also visited the schools where the girls we support are working hard and met their teachers and principals. Lots more stories to come on the realities and challenges of overcoming poverty and getting girls to come to school and stay at school…

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Projects

As a result of everything we saw while we were in Fiji combined with the recent floods, we have a number of needs and projects to fundraise for…we need your help !

  • Our amazing In Country Co-ordinator Urmila, is currently working  1 day a week for ‘A Girl & her world’  If you are interested in making a difference on the ground and can commit to  AU$85 per month, we could love to hear from you.   Please click on the ‘Give’ section of our website.  Read more about Urmilla here
  • While visiting our lovely girls we met Deepika and her Mum who is a tailor. Mum is working off a pedal powered relic (pictured) as they have no electricity. Her machine has broken down and limited her ability to earn money. We would like to purchase a new machine for her which will cost around AU$420. An electric machine would obviously be a lot cheaper and lighter but given her remote location and need for a pedal machine, this was the cheapest we could find. We are planning to send some screen printed canvas fabric over and employ her to make some special A Girl & her world bags, and she will also make all our sponsored girls’ uniforms.
  • Urmila has assessed 3 more girls this last week who need support to go to school for AU$25/month
  • We are looking for 2 more income-generating sponsors to provide honey bee boxes for parents AU$200 each.

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Where does your money go?

Just so you know…100% of the money you donate to support girls education goes to their education.  100% of the money you donate to income generating projects goes to income generating projects.  Other running costs are largely covered probono (thank you!) or by people donating specifically to cover these costs.

If you want to know more, please just ask…we are happy to answer.


 

A Girl &Her…Cause

We are very excited to introduce some of our first Girl Ambassadors! Jessyn Cross (middle) and Ellie Hawkins (right) are in the process of presenting to their schools’ SRC and teachers about their experience of our trip and generating support through mufti day gold coin donations and other school fundraising activities. Also read about Franzika Chmiel (pictured below), our Girl Ambassador who is about to spend 2 weeks in Fiji volunteering with us.

All of our Girl Ambassadors will invite their friends to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and run competitions to raise awareness. Pure Fiji products and Fiji rugby jerseys are up for grabs!

If you or someone you know would like to become a Girl Ambassador, drop us a line

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Coming up….

Our first Girl Ambassador will be heading to RakiRaki in June to stay with the wonderful Urmila for 2 weeks. Franziska Chmiel is in year 11 and is excited about the opportunity to experience life in a developing country and volunteer with us.

Franziska will be spending time in each of the high schools holding focus groups with the girls and dreaming up some girl based solutions for some of the barriers to education that currently exist.

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We will update you with a newsletter every 3 months, however we are always happy to talk with you about anything else you’d like to know…email us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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