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#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change

by Stars Foundation
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change
#FreedomForGirls is Girl-Led Change

Exciting Announcements!

Global Fund for Women has joined the With and For Girls Collective as the 11th member in a collaborative effort to advance gender equality globally using an unprecedented participatory grantmaking approach with adolescent girls. The Collective are united in the belief that girls are best placed to make decisions on issues which affect them. 

 

Global Fund for Women is one of the world’s leading foundations for gender equality, standing up for the human rights of women and girls. Global Fund for Women’s vision is that every woman and girl is strong, safe, powerful, and heard. No exceptions. They fund and partner with feminist groups who are courageously fighting for justice in their own communities. This rights-based approach gets to the root of gender inequality and is the most effective way to create permanent social change.

 

We are delighted to join the With and For Girls Collective and to expand our direct support to grassroots girl-led groups,” said Global Fund for Women President and CEO Latanya Mapp Frett. “Global Fund for Women believes in the power of girls to change their own lives, to write their own stories, and to create their own futures. As leaders and decision-makers, girls are key to achieving systemic transformation that will build a world grounded in justice, fairness, and equity. That’s why we are committed to embedding the needs, solutions, and leadership of girls into our work.” 

 

This will be the first collaboration which sees both Global Fund for Women and Global Fund for Children working in partnership, working on the intersections of children and gender to advance girls’ rights. 

 

“Global Fund for Women is a leading voice for the power of girls and women to define and lead positive change in their lives. As one of the first women’s funds, Global Fund for Women is an inspiration for those of us in the sector who support community-led change. As gender inequity is a cross-cutting concern that affects the distribution of resources, discrimination, and injustice that many of us seek to challenge, Global Fund for Women’s voice as a powerful champion for girl and women-led social change will be a critical addition to the With and for Girls Collective.” - Corey Oser, Vice President of Programs, Global Fund for Children

“We know girls experience particular injustices at the intersection of their gender and age. We also know girls are often the last to be seen and invested in within the community and within philanthropy. This needs to change – girls are smart, have opinions and should make decisions on matters that affect them. We see so many of our peer philanthropists and funders in the sector agree and back the principle of girls being decision makers but a hesitancy to make it happen, for fear of doing it wrong. We believe funders can and must include girls in the decision making. We are extremely excited to welcome Global Fund for Women as a Strategic Partner of the With and For Girls Collective, bringing their outspoken approach, deep knowledge, commitment and expertise on reimagining a world in which girls rights are realised, girls voices amplified and girls are leading us all. ” - Swatee Deepak, Director, With and For Girls

2019 Awards Updates:

New Awards Category

We have launched a new Awards category—the Emerging Award—which allows smaller organisations with lower annual incomes (USD$5,000–20,000) to be nominated. We took this decision as a result of key recommendations which emerged from our external evaluation. We have previously only reached organisations with income of above $20,000 but believe that by lowering the income and introducing a new category, we will be able to reach organisations from under-represented regions that traditionally receive less funding and reach those also with more informal structures who are on the frontlines of fighting for girls’ rights.

Nominations so far…

We are excited to announce that an impressive number of new nominations have been referred to us by With and For Girls Referral Partners from all over the world, and the results have surpassed all expectations in terms of numbers, geographic diversity and quality in centering girls and their leadership. We are particularly excited about receiving nominations from countries we have previously never funded in, such as Argentina, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea and Sweden, among many others!


Stage 1 Panel

Stage 1 panel scoring is carried out by WFG Collective members. Eligible applicants are assessed against a number of criteria such as the extent to which they demonstrate that they are girl-centred, grassroots and locally-led, the breadth of girl leadership within their organisation, the quality of their programmes, capability of collaborative working and demonstrated respect of minority groups, focusing on and including diversity of beneficiaries.

Girls Panels

Once the EOIs have been collected and the organisations have been shortlisted to 50 in total—one of the most exciting parts of the Awards process takes place—the Girls Panels!

In October 2019, panels consisting of adolescent girls from previous Award Winning organisations will take place in the 5 regions of the world where we award in: Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, The American Continent and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa. The girls have final decision-making power and will choose up to 25 new winners to receive the Award.

Stay updated on the Awards’ process, who the Winners are and other news by following us on social media @withandforgirls and sign up to our newsletter!

Links:

Thank you so much for your donation to With and For Girls!

Your kind contribution means we ensure girls’ voices matter and that we amplify the fact that girls are best placed to lead and inform on issues that affect them. The With and For Girls Collective is a group of organisations that champion the collective action of girls as agents of change. We believe that when girls organise, they and their organisations can play a leading role in transforming societies and building gender equality. 2019 is already off to an exciting start: 

2019 Awards nominations open

Since we launched in 2014, the With and For Girls Awards have seen exponential growth. We have worked with 103 referral partners, received 474 nominations, shortlisted 137, worked with 15 panels of adolescent girls to award 60 grassroots girl-led and girl-centred organisations in over 41 countries, who together reach over 1.5 million people.  In April 2019 we launch the 2019 With and For Girls nominations to find incredible girl-led and girl-centred groups around the world. We have some exciting new categories coming up so stay tuned. 

Girls Voices make it to the UN Human Rights Council 

A new report by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders to the UN Human Rights Council highlights the work of With and For Girls for the work in Mexico City. 

Last October, the With and For Girls Collective brought together 12 girl activists from organisations in Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, U.S.A, Poland, Kenya, Nepal, Barbados, Guatemala, Israel, Romania and Nicaragua! Each and every girl activist who attended works tirelessly in their countries to improve the lives of girls and so we wanted them to be able to share their realities with the Human Rights Funders Network at their annual global meeting in Mexico City.   

The UN Special Rapporteurs report included the pledges the girl activists asked funders to take and why they are an example of good practice for funding that enables women defenders to promote and protect human rights. Check out this powerful video on what girls want us all to know.  

Watch that girl go...

We know that girls are often overlooked, underestimated and invisible in key decision making spaces which is why, in 2018, we launched a visibility fund to provide support to girls to identify and travel to places girls should be and continue to identify events where we believe girls voices matter. Since the beginning of 2019, With and For Girls Award Winners have travelled to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Kathmandu for the CREA Re-Conference and Washington DC for Violence Against Children and Violence against Women meeting 

A new home for With and For Girls 

Since 2014 when With and For Girls launched, Stars Foundation has hosted the Collective and Awards. During 2018 the With and For Girls Collective worked with panels of adolescent girls from Kenya, Lebanon and Nepal to find and select a new home for the Collective for 2019 and beyond. Following a competitive selection process, we are really excited to announce that this will be Purposeful, a funder and movement building hub for adolescent girls which began in Sierra Leone.  

Thank you for supporting, believing and standing with and for girls. You will hear from us soon!

In the meantime, stay up to date with our latest happenings and see some exciting girl power content, remember to sign up to our newsletter and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. 

Thank you so much for your donation to With and For Girls!

Your kind contribution means we ensure girls’ voices matter and that we amplify the fact that girls are best placed to lead and inform on issues that affect them. The With and For Girls Collective is a group of organisations that champion the collective action of girls as agents of change. We believe that when girls organise, they and their organisations can play a leading role in transforming societies and building gender equality.

The With and For Girls Collective spent 2018 having a very busy but reflective year. We wanted to work more closely with and listen to grassroots organisations, and the girls behind them, to discover how we can further extend our support to girl-led groups. 

We conducted surveys and also an external evaluation of the Awards programme we run. This highlighted a need for girl activists to have more opportunities to collaborate with each other, speak to donors and have access to the tools to help them improve their current projects. We also saw the importance of self-care and preventing burnout with girl activists. 

Collaboration:

As a Collective, we believe in the power of collaboration and understand the importance and power of grassroots organisations connecting, exchanging ideas and being able to support one another. In response to this, for the first time, we launched two secondary funding grants - one for Collaboration and the other for Visibility. The Collaboration fund gave organisations from all over the world the opportunity to visit one another and learn from each other's programmes, common dilemmas and solutions. 

Visibility:

 

As you may have guessed, the Visibility fund gave the opportunity for organisations and girl activists to make themselves more 'visible' in the contexts they're working in. This could be attending events, meetings and conferences where they are able to talk to relevant stakeholders and gain more recognition and support. 

Mexico City

It is far too often that decisions are made about girls without girls. This is why last October, the With and For Girls Collective brought together 12 girl activists from organisations in Palestine, Kyrgyzstan, U.S.A, Poland, Kenya, Nepal, Barbados, Guatemala, Israel, Romania and Nicaragua! Each and every girl activist who attended works tirelessly in their countries to improve the lives of girls and so we wanted them to be able to share their realities with the Human Rights Funders Network at their annual global meeting in Mexico City. Once we arrived, the girls organised themselves to take over the closing session of the conference and reach out to the many attending key stakeholders. 

Self-care

Activism for a girl in an aggressively patriarchal society can be emotionally and physically draining and can also be quite lonely. It was truly inspiring to see girls from all over the world bond so quickly on a deeper level and be able to share and connect about the problems and solutions they have experienced. 2018 was the year that we, as a Collective, really wanted to cultivate the culture of self-care and wellness within our own organisations and those we support. Consequently, in Mexico City, we had a wellness coach available at all times for girls to be able to speak to and unwind in between the hectic everyday activities. For many girl activists, burning out is a real risk. Fighting for your basic human rights whilst trying to navigate and juggle the daily struggles of being a young woman or girl can be pretty overwhelming, so self-care is something we would like to continue to focus on and support. 

You can watch a video on our time in Mexico here.

We learnt a lot over the past year and in 2019 we are ready to take on new projects, provide more support to girls globally and ensure they are able to come into spaces where decisions are made. Thank you for supporting, believing and standing with and for girls. You will hear from us soon!

In the meantime, stay up to date with our latest happenings and see some exciting girl power content, remember to sign up to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

 

 

 

Links:

Marai Larasi, Nasra Ahmed, Emma Watson, Devi Leipe
Marai Larasi, Nasra Ahmed, Emma Watson, Devi Leipe

Thank you so much for your donation to the With and For Girls Collective via Stars Foundation!

Your kind contribution means we ensure girls’ voices matter and that we amplify the fact that girls are best placed to lead and inform on issues that affect them. The With and For Girls Collective is a group of organisations that champion the collective action of girls as agents of change. We believe that when girls organise, they and their organisations can play a leading role in transforming societies and building gender equality.

This summer, the With and For Girls Collective was really excited to take part in the #MeToo and Philanthropy: From Violence to a place of power London convening. The event took place on 10 July 2018 and was hosted by NoVo Foundation, Oak Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy and Ariadne, and facilitated by Jude Kelly. The aim of the event was to explore how philanthropy can radically increase its support for the movement to end violence against all girls and women. It was attended by incredible activists, funders, journalists and culture shapers from around the world, including actor and activist Emma Watson, Marai Larasi and Pragna Patel.

The convening sought to examine the specific context for work to end sexual violence in the UK and Europe, where growing momentum around #MeToo and other movements is coupled with rising nationalism, austerity politics, the closing of civil society space and assaults on human rights. Director of Stars Foundation, Swatee Deepak, spoke on a panel with Ruby Johnson from FRIDA — The Young Feminist Fund entitled ‘Supporting Movements to End Violence Against Girls and Women, A Funder Perspective’.

We were excited that we could work with the organisers to give Nasra Ahmed from With and For Girls Award-winning organisation Integrate UK a platform to speak from the perspective of being both a young woman and a grassroots activist. She was on the panel alongside Emma Watson, Marai Larasi and Devi Leiper O’Malley. Marai is the Executive Director of Imkaan, who has worked on ending violence against women and girls for over two decades, and Devi Leiper O’Malley, who has worked with women’s funds for almost 10 years and currently works as the Co-Executive Director of Collective partner FRIDA — The Young Feminist Fund.

As a Collective we firmly believe in centring girls’ voices at the heart of everything we do. As part of one of our strategic objectives to increase recognition and resource available to strong girl-led and girl-centred organisations, we invited 18-year-old Jorja from With and For Girls award-winning organisation Global Girl Media to participate in the event. In the blog below, Jorja gives us an insight into the valuable media experience she gained from shadowing Brooklyn-based Creative Bionics — “A badass, female-centric, production company dedicated to social transformation”.

From Violence to a Place of Power, gave me an insight into a new world; it provided me with a look into a possible future path. When I first entered the venue, the atmosphere ignited by the presence of strong women overwhelmed me. It gave electricity to the room. Walking around I honestly felt inspired by the people I was surrounded by. Immersed in intellectuals and creative people, it was a great feeling. I got to see the venue unfold, as they prepped for the next day for the guest speaker Emma Watson. Every room at the event featured feminist artwork. As an art student, I definitely appreciated seeing the work develop; being able to see each individual room get set up for the exhibition and observing the unique art pieces start to take form. This also gave me the opportunity to understand the story behind the art.

Two art pieces stood out in particular for me, the first being the work of Adelaide Demoah. Using her body as a medium, her work expresses black oppression, culture and history. This conveyed sensuality and really resonated with me as a proud black woman. The other artwork by Natasha Monfared really stood out for me as her work tackles political issues of today. I felt the piece gave a powerful voice to the Muslim women who had fallen, was a very strong message. Since the Iranian Revolution of 1979, women have constantly found ways to rebel against restrictive laws. Natasha Monfared highlights this ongoing resistance by Iranian women through a sculpture. Monfared aims to raise awareness of a fleeting moment of protest. The fists, which were part of the art piece, emphasised the solidarity in resistance.

Continuing onto the next day I was invited to join the film crew from Creative Bionics as a runner. Although at times the role seemed strenuous, it was a very useful and beneficial position. I got to observe the other different roles such as editor, who has to work with a quick turnover time, copying SD cards and editing out parts of the film that aren’t necessary. The sound monitor makes sure audio is in tune with the guest speakers. I realised this role, in particular, is much more valuable than I originally thought. The person has to keep the sound in sync with numerous factors, which isn’t as easy as I initially perceived.

While working I did manage to catch glimpses of Emma Watson, and I thank the Stars Foundation for providing me with this opportunity to fangirl inside! I tried my best to compose myself when around Emma. It was just such a great and new experience, especially as I have listened to her talks before and getting to listen to her on that day was captivating. She constructs her words in a beautiful and concise way and her words spoke volumes to everyone around."

Artwork by Natasha Monfared
Artwork by Natasha Monfared
Artwork by Adelaide Demoah
Artwork by Adelaide Demoah

Links:

Dear all those who are standing with and for girls!

Thank you so much for your donation to the With and For Girls Collective via Stars Foundation, your ongoing and new support is invaluable to us.

Here at With and For Girls, we firmly believe that all girls should live in a world where they have the agency, platform and space to enjoy equality, justice and opportunity around the world, in their homes and in their communities. We support girls and believe it is they who hold the power to drive truly transformational change around the world.

Whilst we support girls working on a wide range of challenges and issues, last month we focused on child marriage. Twelve million girls a year are married before they reach the age of 18. This is still an ongoing and complex problem fuelled by gender inequality, poverty, harmful traditions and insecurity.

Last month the With and For Girls Collective funded seven young women and girls from organisations we support in Cameroon, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Zimbabwe (who have been affected by child marriage and work to end the practice) to attend a global convening in Malaysia hosted by Girls Not Brides.

It is far too often that girls who are directly affected by issues are not given a say on decisions which have the greatest impact on them. The aim of the convening was to bring together the world's leading advocates to end child marriage to:

  • Connect: Build an ever-closer and more effective global partnership
  • Learn: Share knowledge and evidence about what works to address child marriage
  • Inspire: Celebrate progress to ensure more action and resources
  • Align: Agree on next steps to achieve our common strategic objectives

This also gave us an opportunity to reconnect with the organisations we work with and we had never felt more pride in hearing about the work that they do and the growth organisations have made.

Representatives from the following With and For Girls Award-winning organisations attended the Girls Not Brides convening:

The National Federation of Women’s Communities of Kyrgyzstan which works with girls in Kyrgyzstan where 12,000 women and girls are abducted for marriage annually.

Girls United for Human Rights which works in Pakistan and challenges norms where girls as young as 9 years old are given away for marriage.

Pastoralist Girls Initiative in Kenya which works with rural communities to eradicate child marriage.

Feminist Approach to Technology which works with girls in India to give them a better chance at an independent future by providing free training on science, technology, engineering and mathematics as well as workshops on women's rights.

Nyanza Initiative for Girls' Education & Empowerment which focuses on supporting victims of child marriage and girls who are also young mothers by providing girls with the opportunity to finish their education and securing a better life and future in Kenya.

Katswe Sistahood which is a powerful all girls group which provides sexual and reproductive health and rights services to young girls in Zimbabwe.

Forum des Femmes Autochtones du Cameroun which successfully works in indigenous communities to end child marriage in Cameroon.

As always, many thanks for your support. Together we can end child marriage.

The With and For Girls Collective

 

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Organization Information

Stars Foundation

Location: London - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @StarsFdn
Emma Tallamy
Project Leader:
Emma Tallamy
London, London United Kingdom

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