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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Because I Am A Girl: I Can Change the World. By Rosemary McCarney with Jen Albaugh and Plan International. Second Story Press, 2014. $16.95 ages 11 and up

"The big mango tree is gone, so is the food. Every morning I wake up with pains in my tummy because I am so hungry. We don't usually have any food at home, and most days I have to go to school without eating. Naomi says that I have to train myself not to feel hungry until the end of the day, but that is really hard to do! Sometimes I can't concentrate ...

The girls introduced and pictured in this book live all over the world and share their stories of hardship. It is impossible to imagine that children so young are dealing with the misery and insecurity that face them every single day. It is important for our children, who often live with such abundance, to see the struggles that face so many girls in world communities.

These girls are worthy of our admiration for the hope they find in each other, and the bravery with which they face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. They persevere, and stand strong for others,   always working to change the world.

They are eight young women and live in Nepal, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Philippines, South Sudan/Uganda, Peru, Uganda and Canada. While you will be interested in each of their stories, I thought you might like to know a bit more about Fahmeeda, who lives in Canada and knows that she can change the world.

Her family moved from Pakistan to Canada when she was 9. A return trip to her homeland when she was 13 showed her some of the barriers faced by girls in all parts of the world. Children were working long days in factories to help pay for living in a shelter. They should have been in school.  Another young girl she met there died in childbirth because she had never had medical care. Her child was now an orphan. Today she spends her time as a Youth Ambassador for Plan's Because I Am A Girl, working to protect the rights of women and children around the world. She is now 20 years old.

These are amazing stories, and they should be shared!

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