Girls’ Empowerment Starts with Family

By Sarah Baker

June 28, 2017

Strong and loving families are crucial to the future success of children, especially for girls. 

Women and girls hold immense potential, yet they continue to be disempowered.  

Reports have shown that investing in girls creates long-term social and economic benefits for communities and nations. Despite this, girls in every corner of the globe are more likely than boys to be exploited, malnourished and deprived of an education. If a girl has a stable family and access to a quality education and healthcare, she can empower not only herself, but also her community.

SOS Children’s Villages (SOS) works to provide a loving and stable family and home for orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children around the world. Growing up in such an environment can be what makes the difference of whether or not a girl gets to realize her full potential.

Olympic athlete Mavis Chirandu knows the value of family all too well. Mavis, who played on Zimbabwe’s soccer team at the 2016 Games, grew up in an SOS Children’s Village in her home country. She credits her upbringing there for allowing her to realize and pursue her ambitions without fear or hesitation.

Women’s soccer olympian and former SOS Child, Mavis Chirandu

“The will and determination that you see on the field is a direct connection to all of the support that I received from my SOS family growing up,” said Mavis. “I was always assured that my dreams were attainable, and that my talent was special. This encouragement and support gave me the confidence and hunger to chase my dreams.”

Strong and loving families are crucial to the future success of children, especially for girls. The challenges of growing up without equal or even adequate access to things like education and healthcare are compounded for girls by the absence of familial support.

Mavis is a perfect example of the power of women. Her innate resilience was recognized and nurtured in a home that appreciated and recognized her talents. SOS focuses on children as unique personalities—encouraging them to take pride in and make the most of who they are. It is important that we continue to empower all girls by providing a solid foundation in the form of a loving, stable family.

Mavis grew up in an SOS Children’s Village in Zimbabwe. This picture shows her on her 8th birthday.

“Without the help of my SOS mom and family in the village, I undoubtedly would have suffered the same fate as so many orphaned children today,” said Mavis. ”So my hope…is to shine a light on the importance of a solid family structure in a child’s life.”

Take Action Challenge

You can change the course of a girl’s life by supporting SOS Children’s Villages’ Invest in a Girl campaign.

 

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