Abigail was on the streets. She was exploited. Abused as a vulnerable 10-year-old girl. And now?She is now 13 and in the 7th grade. She's a top student. She knows how to bake, a skill that she can use to earn an income. She dreams of being a leading voice for millions of girls just like her - and we expect her to do it!We are only able to open her life up because of you. It's that simple. It's not complex. She is off the streets and on a path of impact because of... you.We have a couple incredible opportunities in front of us - and we need you:1) Nike (yes, Nike!) nominated us to join the organizations they partner with to help girls around the world. All we need to be ELECTED is a whole bunch of you to vote (by donating as little as $10) and it'll be official. Nike wants to see that we have grassroots support - let's show them and change some lives right here. Go now to the voting/donation site at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/educating-to-end-child-prostitution/2) The biggest opportunity we've had is also looking right at us. It's a chance to end the atrocities that Abigail and all the girls in her situation stare down everyday. We can't give you the details yet... but we can say we don't need $ from you for this. We need people with large and small online audiences to galvanize their friends and family to help -- it won't take much but it will mean everything to Abigail and girls just like her. Stay tuned, and we'll let you know on November 14th when we're allowed to talk about what's going on. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to be more involved!Together we can do this for Abigail!
Last week, More than Me hosted our first ever (SOLD OUT!!) fundraiser in Monrovia, Liberia. Yes, there was a DJ, bar, and a great ocean view, but that is not the most exciting thing about this fundraiser.
The event marks a real shift in More than Me’s work. We have grown from having happy hours at bars to raise enough to send a few girls to school, to last week, where worked with the local community to raise $5k to support our work. We are expanding the services we provide to the most at risk girls of West Point to make sure that they aren’t just learning math or reading, but will have a real chance to succeed in the future. Getting here has been a learning process. We are scaling up in a meaningful way and with input from the community, government, and local leaders and love the support we receive at home in the United States and from our Liberian supporters.
The event was amazing, with Esther, the mother of our first ever More than Me student, sharing her story and the change she has seen in her daughter Elizabeth.
We have come a long way thanks to our Liberian staff and volunteers, our network of supporters around the world, and the girls in our program who are continually an inspiration. We have a lot of work to do for tomorrow, but we are doing as much as we can today. This is an exciting time, in an exciting place, and we are doing our best to make the future bright for the girls in West Point.
We're quite excited to announce our plans to start our very own school in Liberia, 'The More Than Me Girls' Academy. The Liberian government is donating a building for us to use as our new school! Now, we have the vision and the space but there's a tad bit of work to be done on it. ;) We figured we would use Wednesday June 13th, Global Giving's Match Day, as a place to start. 50% of all donations are being matched and the money we raise will go towards the renovations to turn this into a school. Our goal is to get 1000 people to donate $25! So, we really need your help-- pretty pleaseee! I promise it'll make Agnes and her friends REALLY happy!
Donate HERE: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/morethanme-girls-academy/
Spread the word to all of your friends and help make this dream a reality!
One of our volunteers in Liberia, Marleen de Jong – Rothengatter, just sent along this message. Marleen assists with our social work and evaluation, although, really, she does so much more.
I spent yesterday afternoon with Macintosh in West Point to visit the families of the girls I work with. The 75,000 people here fight a daily battle against poverty and endemic problems, including overpopulation and diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis.
West Point is a big maze of alleys and super small houses about 1.5 meters by 2 meters that are made of corrugated iron and wood; they are built without any foundation. The farther you go inside the more you will be swallowed up by corrugated iron, waste, human feces and the smell that goes with it. Many people are ill with malaria and other infectious diseases.
In addition to disease and poverty, sexual abuse of women and children are the order of the day. The oppression and abuse of women, which was fed by the rebels during the civil war, continues even after the end of the war and despite the best efforts of the government.
I still haven’t found the words to describe my feelings, but I’m very proud of all the girls who are “trying small small” to make a living without money, social support, a place to sleep, and broken families.
Although overwhelmed with sadness and at a loss for words, a smile says it all. A smile? Yes!! While dancing, singing, and playing games, we smile and laugh and have a lot of fun. A smile can say more than a thousand words. There are smiles of love, happiness, comfort, friendship. Smiles of compassion, support, hope and they make us feel special and loved.
As a volunteer for More than Me on the ground in West Point, I don’t have the intention to change the world. But by giving counseling to the girls, I try to work on improving their self-esteem, social skills, help them cope with feelings, or sometimes I just listen and we smile or cry a bit. Some girls have behavioural problems and difficulties concentrating at school because of their home situation. One of the girls just moved to her grandmother’s house because her mother used to invite men into the little girl’s bedroom for a small fee.
In an ideal world, I would like to solve all of their problems. But that is, unfortunately, just impossible. Meanwhile, I’m just trying to increase their quality of life little by little, or “trying small” as they say here in Liberia. Some days, when I’m overwhelmed with feelings, I like to think that even a small ripple in the water can be far-reaching.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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