“I tell my story, not because it is unique but because it is not. It is the story of many girls” -Malala Yousafsai, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
Globally, there are more than 62 million girls who are not in school. Girls are more likely malnourished than boys and the increasing numbers of girls under age of 18 are sold for marriage. This alarming situation will not stop unless we give girls a voice and let them be heard.
As we unite in the celebration of the International Day of the Girl Child, Stairway Foundation Inc. conducted a Sports Camp for the members of the Baclayan Beneficiaries Mentorship Program last March 24-25 at the Stairway Camphouse, in Baclayan. It was attended by more than forty students and teachers from the Puerto Galera National High School.
During the sports camp, we took time to acknowledge International Day of the Girl Child under the national theme “Batang Babae, Malakas Ka Batang Lalaki, Katuwang Ka” which means: “Girls, you are strong. Boys, you’re our support,” with a viewing of Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.
Participants were deeply inspired by Malala’s unflagging courage. After the viewing, we held an open forum, many participants shared their thoughts about Malala’s speech. One young boy called Ace, who expereinced unfair treatment in his school, expressed “Mabigyan ng hustisya ang mga batang inaabuso ng mga matatanda.” (Give justice to all children abused by adults).” A grade 10 student, who is an LGBTQ leader and an advocate shared her thoughts: “Mabigyan ng pantay na karapatan ang mga nasa LGBTQ Community)” (Give equal rights to those in the LBGTQ community. Another student added: “Matigil ang racial discrimination (End racial discrimination).”
Through the viewing of Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, we hope that girls and boys will be inspired to stirve for quality education and gender equality throughout the world.
Contributed by Maria Mercedes Malabanan, Community Development Officer, SFI