Girls International

Katelyn Wolfgang, Staff Writer

Students at CB South might not enjoy every second in school, but many girls in developing and war torn countries dream of obtaining a basic education.  Poverty and abuse are the harsh realities for many young girls, who are often married off to older men. Twenty-eight girls each minute become victims of child marriage, and sixty-two million school-aged girls around the world do not attend school.  For students so far away from the issue, outreach and support can seem discouraging. However, Girls International, a new club at CB South, has a powerful message and global reach.

Emma Kienzle, a junior at South, created Girls International. Girls International is a club whose mission is to raise money and awareness for girls’ rights to education and to highlight the negative effects of child marriage. Emma said she has always been “very passionate about girls and women’s rights” and felt uncomfortable that she wasn’t helping other girls.

Girls International is partnered with Let Girls Learn, an organization through the United States Peace Corps that works to build schools, provide transportation, and develop leadership programs for girls in underprivileged communities. The club is also working with the organization Girls Not Brides, which works with political, local, and religious leaders to create laws to prohibit the institution of child marriage.

With strong affiliations with these two organizations, South’s Girls International will help contribute solutions to all aspects of these developing countries. Emma explains, “When a generation of girls are educated and push back against marriage, the economy can grow along with a decrease in poverty, HIV/AIDS, violence and crime.”

Girls International recently held a penny war between forums for Let Girls Learn, and in the spring the club will be holding multiple bake sales to benefit Girls Not Brides. Keep an eye onTitan TV and listen to Titan Forum updates for more information.

Students at South can get involved and support the club by attending the meetings and participating in the fundraisers. A great way to support Girls International is by opening up discussions with friends and family to spread the word of child marriages and the lack of education for girls. The more awareness the club can bring to the issues, the greater the impact.

Emma would appreciate if the students and faculty think about the injustices these girls face every day. “We live in a country that provides all children with access to education; this is not true for many people around the world… The only difference between these girls and girls here at South is the place that they were born.”