Thursday, October 11, 2012

International Day of the Girl

Last year, on International Day of the Girl, I wrote the below post about how lucky we are and how much I believe in empowering other girls to have the education and choices I have and that my daughter will have to.  Right now, she has the freedom to dress in as many crazy beautiful layers as she wants and pursue her dreams for the day, even if those are as simple as hoping the neighborhood kids come out to play.  

On Tuesday, masked Taliban  gunmen shot  Malala Yousafz, a 14 year old girl in northern Pakistan who was an advocate for female education and rights. (You can read more about her story here). This brutal act of savagery against a young girl fighting for basic right to education is so far beyond my understanding that I cannot even express my sorrow.  I look at the image of my daughter above who is gifted by such love and opportunity and I cannot imagine or mourn enough that that is still not the rule for all young girls. 

Today, I instead choose to celebrate girls and do the tiny things I can to help promote education for women around the world.  I am again inspired by Shimelle's post for International Day of the Girl 2012.  I invite you to read it, share it, sign the petition for girl's education, and, if you can, donate a little bit to this important cause.  If you are a scrapbooker, 100% of proceeds from the purchase of the listed classes or the special video today go to The Girl's Fund.  Alternatively, look for something in your community such as the options in my post below and do a little something to help.  Most of you reading this have been blessed with a safe, accessible education and a myriad of options for your life.  Try and take a moment to help someone else with this basic need. 

Last night, unaware that today would be International Day of the Girl, I scrapped the above page capturing the special relationship between the women in my family.  I am so very lucky to be surrounded by such amazing in my life.  Thanks to you all for your kindness and support of me and my girls and for helping us have such amazing opportunities. 

Lucky Girls and Those Not So Lucky (2011)

Maggie and I are lucky girls.  We are surrounded by people that love us, pretty things, toys, good food and love.  We get to have great educations and health care.  We get to do anything we dream we can do.  I was able to go from a very rural upbringing, to studying in France and becoming a DC lawyer, complete with fancy east coast graduate degrees.  Truly, I've been able to pursue whatever I dreamed with no barrier based on gender.

 We live in a country where we can get the health care we need and I know when we're sick there is someone there to take care of us.  I don't have to worry about having enough to eat or a warm bed.  I get to telecommute and pursue a happy, beautiful creative hobby.  Maggie gets to dress in silly frilly clothes and I then get to scrapbook my happy memories of watching her just being her, just being beautiful.

Not all girls, or all people, are so lucky.  I was inspired by Shimelle's post today to share these layouts and encourage you to take a moment to do something to help those girls that are not as lucky as Maggie and I.  Whether you choose the charity Shimelle is promoting or one in your own community, just take a moment to think about it and see if maybe there is some what you can help those girls, boys, families, communities that are not so lucky just now.

Check out Shimelle's post for information on the Because I am a Girl Campaign or consider donations to the Red Cross to help with the recent tornadoes, tsunamis, or ongoing poverty.  I suspect you might have a few dollars around, because most of you reading are so lucky too and if you're not, let us know and maybe we can help you somehow?  Wanna help a rural kid with their education? Consider that link on the left to donate to my family's Danny Blakley Pioneer Scholarship Fund.  The options are endless, I'm just asking you to think about it for a couple minutes.  Let's help, support, and love each other because even though we may be physically far a part we are a community and here to help each other.  Thanks for the love.

P.S. This year I chose to buy the Pretty Paper Party class as part of my donation. Doesn't that sound like a fun way to support other women?

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