In some places, women are viewed as second class citizens – unable to vote, own property, or seek out an education. I have written about organizations who are working to make a difference for women such as BeadforLife, She’s the First, and the White Ribbon Alliance. Today’s organization is also working to empower girls to change the world.
“To be born a girl is a gift we are given. To become a real woman of wisdom and courage is a gift we give the world.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Jin In was born in Seoul, Korea to a wealthy family, but her fortunes changed when her father passed away when she was only seven months old. In Korea at that time, wives were not seen as blood relatives so Jin’s mother did not receive any portion of the estate. Her mother moved to the United States to try to start a new life and was able to bring Jin and her sister to the United States about five years later. Through the years Jin learned that she could do anything. She also learned through her mentor that service and helping the vulnerable were important aspects of life. Jin describes her life experiences in detail in this essay.
Jin’s passion has grown to become an organization named 4Girls GLocal Leadership (4GGL). The mission of 4GGL is to ignite, cultivate, and promote girls’ leadership development locally, to advance gender equity globally – hence GLocal. They empower the world’s poorest girls as a powerful lever to accelerate change the world needs. Many girls in poor countries do not have opportunities for leadership development, so 4GGL has developed a cost effective and innovative delivery method to make it possible. They partner with community schools and local organizations to deliver socially and culturally appropriate training and mentoring to local trainers who then develop leadership skills in the girls they serve. 4GGL also partners with colleges and universities to train and mentor young women. Investing in these young girls and women provides each of them the opportunity to empower herself and change her world.
A Huffington Post article describes one example of the 4GGL local action in Nepal. Their project is working with a local organization (Empowering Women of Nepal) to help train young women as trekking guides. Through this training they are building leadership skills and confidence in girls from Nepal.
Jin met a woman named Saraswati while she was in Nepal. Saraswati was born into the lowest caste and her destiny was decided when she was born. She left school early to help support her family. When Jin asked her if she had completed school, Saraswati stated that it was better for her to send her money home to help send her brothers to school. Jin told Saraswati that she was valuable enough to serve as one of the program’s lead trainers and Saraswati decided that she would return to school.
4GGL is unique because it targets the mindsets and cultural norms about the value of girls and through changing those norms, helps girls realize their full potential. 4GGL works to create sustainable communities where the locals seek change in themselves, moving girls from being victims of poverty to becoming a powerful force for change.
How can you help?
Donations can be made to 4GGL directly on their website or through their Razoo donation page. You can also spread the word about the 4GGL organization or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org to find specific ways to help!