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United Nations Foundation Launches Girl Up

United Nations Foundation's Girl Up campaign encourages American girls to raise awareness and funds for United Nations programs that help the world's hardest-to-reach adolescent girls

New York, NY —   September 30, 2010

 

The United Nations Foundation is launching its newest campaign – Girl Up – which encourages American girls to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for their counterparts in the developing world. Girl Up will raise awareness about the 600 million adolescent girls living in developing countries and encourages American girls to give back.

“Girl Up is a campaign ‘for girls, by girls.’ The UN Foundation believes in the power girls have to make global change,” said Elizabeth McKee Gore, Executive Director, Global Partnerships, UN Foundation. “Our research shows that American girls feel it is not fair that one in seven girls is married prior to the age of 15 in developing countries. We are proud to stand behind girls by launching this campaign, and we are looking forward to ushering in a new wave of philanthropy among teens and tweens.”

Funds raised through Girl Up will support proven United Nations programs that help the hardest-to-reach girls in such countries as Malawi, Ethiopia, Guatemala and Liberia. Campaign supporters are encouraged to give a “High Five” to girls in developing countries by taking five minutes to learn about the issues facing girls or by donating $5 or more to provide girls with such basic needs as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more.

“The case for girls is so compelling. If you can give a girl the smallest chance, she can make the biggest change,” said Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, a Girl Up Global Advocate. “This program will give a girl in Missouri the opportunity to help a girl in Malawi buy school supplies.”

An impressive group of Global Advocates, Champions, and Partners are joining the United Nations Foundation to empower adolescent girls around the globe. Girl Up Global Advocates include:

  • Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan;
  • Dr. Lisa Masterson, medical doctor, television personality and women’s advocate;
  • Judy McGrath, chairman and CEO of MTV Networks; and
  • Donna Orender, WNBA president.

Champions are:

  • Alana Beard, WNBA all-star;
  • Nigel Barker, renowned fashion photographer, TV personality and author;
  • Crystal Bowersox, singer and songwriter;
  • Victoria Justice, teen actress and singer;
  • Taj McWilliams-Franklin, WNBA all-star;
  • Rebecca Soni, Olympic gold medalist and swimmer; and
  • Ivanka Trump, jewelry designer and entrepreneur.

The Founding Partners for the campaign are: Camp Fire USA; Girls Inc.; Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry; MTV Networks; National Coalition of Girls’ Schools; and Women’s National Basketball Association. More Founding Partners will be announced throughout the fall.

In support of the campaign, Founding Partner Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry released a signature Girl Up bracelet (retail $30 USD) with 100 percent of the net proceeds benefiting the campaign.

“Girl Up’s ‘for girls, by girls’ approach encourages American girls to become forces of global change,” said Ivanka Trump, a Girl Up Champion. “I am proud to be working with Girl Up and girls in this country to help ensure that all girls – no matter where they are born – get the tools they need to be educated, healthy, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.”

“When I heard about all of the girls around the world who don't get to go to school or are forced to get married before they turn 15, I was really upset so I wanted to do something to help them,” said Victoria Justice, a Girl Up Champion. “As a Girl Up Champion, I get to lead the charge and make a real difference in girls’ lives.”

Girl Up’s Unite for Girls Tour is launching today in New York with a Pep Rally at the Vanderbilt YMCA. There will be special appearances by Victoria Justice, star of Nickelodeon's “Victorious,” and Nigel Barker, renowned photographer, TV personality, and author of the new book, The Beauty Equation. Girls will have the opportunity to travel through an interactive display with a passport in hand, to learn about girls just like them all around the world, and how they can help make the future brighter for their counterparts in developing countries. The Unite for Girls Tour will be visiting five metropolitan areas across the nation in 2010 and traveling to even more locations in 2011 to energize U.S. girls to take action in support of their counterparts overseas.

“We are asking every American girl to go to GirlUp.org to learn and talk about the issues facing girls around the world and give a simple High Five. A $5 donation can transform a girl’s life simply by providing a notebook for a girl in Ethiopia so she may go to school,” said Kimberly Perry, the UN Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign Director (photo).

Quick Facts about Girls:

  • More than half of the world’s 1.5 billion young people (ages 10-25) are adolescent girls living in developing countries.
  • Girls make up more than 50% of the world’s 143M out-of-school youth.
  • 1 in 7 girls in the developing world is married before the age of 15.
  • Up to 50% of girls in developing countries become mothers before the age of 18.
  • In some countries, girls spend up to 15 hours a day obtaining water for their families and villages.
  • 1/6 of the world’s young people live on less than $2 a day, including 122 million girls in sub-Saharan Africa who live on less than $1 a day
  • There are 21 million girls ages 10-19 living in the United States – more educated, socially connected and empowered today than ever before in history.

For more information, visit www.GirlUp.org.

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About Girl Up
Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation, gives American girls the opportunity to channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for programs of the United Nations that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Through Girl Up’s support, girls have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders. Campaign supporters are encouraged to give a “High Five” to girls in developing countries by donating $5 or more to provide girls with such basic needs as access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more. Founding campaign partners include MTV Networks, National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, Women’s National Basketball Association, Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, Girls Inc., and Camp Fire USA. Go to GirlUp.org to learn more.

About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The campaigns we conduct reduce child mortality, empower women and girls, create a new energy future, secure peace and human rights, and promote technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

Media Contact
Mala Persaud, 202-841-9336, mala.persuad@gmmb.com

 
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