Sunday, September 12, 2010

Because I am a Girl in Australia

I had a fairytale upbringing with time to play ... cubby houses in the lounge room ... summers jumping over the garden sprinkler ... ballet classes ... music lessons ... cooking for fun ... baking scones + ANZAC biscuits + caramel slice ... and my own personal fairy Starbright.

Before I went to school, or so mum always said, I would insist on getting on the bus ‘without her’, paying my own fare, and sitting at the back and pretending she wasn’t there. I didn’t realise the great gift I had been given. It wasn’t until I’d ‘grown up’, that I realised that my idyllic upbringing was not shared by all girls.

Because I am a Girl in Australia, I had the opportunity to travel to other countries, at first through exploring their cuisines. Later as an adult, I did ‘actually’ travel overseas. These were eye-opening experiences.

While I was in Uzbekistan, for example, I was hugged by women, strangers, in the street, who ran to me with roses and smiles, to greet my independence. I was born into a family, culture and country where I had choices, and was treated no differently, because I am a girl. For me, cooking isn’t a daily chore and responsibility, but pure joy in being able to nurture others. I do not need to wait and be the last to eat in the family, because I am a girl. For me, there is the time and opportunity, to cook for pleasure, to eat in restaurants, and to indulge my passion Inside Cuisine.
The more I saw and the more I read, the more I realised it was my responsibility as an independent woman, to create a brighter future. I sponsor three girls: Anyi and Yeny in Honduras, and Gisselle in Ecuador.

I'm a member of the Because I am a Girl Coalition for Investment in Girls. I hope you’ll join me in supporting this very worthy cause and together we can ‘feed’ the world.

How you can Support the Because I am a Girl campaign:

■Join the Facebook Community – Help build a community united to fight for girls’ rights and help them break the poverty cycle. Join Plan’s Because I am a Girl Facebook page to keep learning and get involved or post a link to the website or campaign videos on your wall.

Talk it up on Twitter – Stay up-to-date and share the latest information, stories and activities with your networks by following Plan’s Because I am a Girl on Twitter. #becausiIamagirl

Buy a campaign T-Shirt – Look good and feel great while telling the world that we need to invest in girls in a Fairtrade Certified Organic Cotton campaign tee.

Share Videos – Email the campaign videos to your friends or post them to your blog or Facebook. You can also check out the latest campaign videos and learn more about the lives of girls and young women in developing countries at Plan Australia’s Channel on YouTube.

Sponsor a Child – When you sponsor a child with Plan your money funds projects chosen by the child’s community that benefit everyone. Girls and boys are sponsored equally in each community, but all Plan programming aims to take into consideration the unique obstacles faced by girls.

Donate to Plan’s GirlsFund – Plan International Australia has established a GirlsFund to support efforts to identify and respond to the barriers girls face. Your donation to GirlsFund will go towards initiatives like this within priority projects that address unique obstacles faced by girls. This will help give girls every opportunity to thrive and break the poverty cycle.

Join Children First! – When you donate regularly through Children First, your money funds Plan Australia’s priority projects that address the specific development needs of communities.