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Have you ever had one of those moments when you realize you have been totally selfish, self-absorbed, self-righteous or whatever other self words comes to mind? It hit me like a sledge hammer a few weeks ago when I was in DC visiting with some World Bank professionals.
They went through the history of their organization, from the beginnings in 1944 for reconstruction purposes after WW2 till today. And today…
Reconstruction remains an important part of our work. However, the global challenges in the world compel us to focus on:
- poverty reduction and the sustainable growth in the poorest countries, especially in Africa;
- solutions to the special challenges of post-conflict countries and fragile states;
- development solutions with customized services as well as financing for middle-income countries;
- regional and global issues that cross national borders–climate change, infectious diseases, and trade;
- greater development and opportunity in the Arab world;
- pulling together the best global knowledge to support development.
So, they are doing so really BIG things to help people and country that rarely cross our minds. Let’s face it, the world is a mess…
But, then they shared something rather thought provoking. The single answer that could help change things. Girls.
The Girl Effect.
The unique potential of 600 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world.
And then they showed us this…
Well, now I felt like a little spoiled brat sitting there in my designer shoes, carrying my smartphone, wondering what fantastic place we were going to eat supper at that night. And then all these conversations I have had with other moms started slamming through my mind. You know the ones about only feeding organically raised food, is HFCS safe or not safe, are there artificial hormones in milk making our girls develop sooner, and on and on and on…
When these girls become mothers, those things are the farthest things from their mind. For heaven’s sake, they are only 15 years old when they give birth for the first time.
Then I felt guilty.
Here I am in an ag leadership program learning about poor, hungry girls across the world turning to prostitution to feed their families. A lot of good I am doing to help feed the world! I thought, am I doing enough to make sure we have an abundant food supply? Are we developing technologies that allow farmers in their countries and villages to grow abundant food supplies so these 600 million adolescent girls don’t have to worry about food?
And then I thought about my dinner with WSJ Journalist, Roger Thurow.
You see, after a few beers at the Rathskeller, we asked him his opinion on things like Michael Pollan’s views on food policy or slow food movements or organic methods, etc. His very candid response, especially candid since he just had returned from Kenya, “Does it get any more organic or local than Africa? Does it look like it is working?” No it isn’t. Why is that in a world of plenty African farmers are starving to death??? These girls can’t live in poverty any longer. Something has to give.
And then I thought of my girl.
If she was one of those girls, I would want someone to help her.
So, given the chance, girls are uniquely capable of investing in their communities and making their lives, and the lives of their brothers, sisters and communities, better.
This is the ripple effect that happens when girls are given the support to realise their full potential. This is the Girl Effect.
To unleash it, we need to make the great, untapped, potential of girls known and visible both in their own societies and the rest of the world.
There’s no better way to fuel the Girl Effect than by spreading the word and letting others know what it’s all about. – From the https://thegirleffect.org/mobilize/share-it
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