Today, I’m celebrating the 19th birthday one of my personal role models: Malala Yousafzai (yes, it’s possible to have a role model that’s younger than you). In case you don’t already know, Malala was the youngest person ever to receive a Nobel Peace Prize after turning a horrific attack by the Taliban into a platform to advocate for the right of every child to go to school. I can’t wait to see her speak and answer questions at the Target Center in a few weeks (tickets are still available at a special Girl Scout price, this is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity!), and hope to see many of you there as well. Malala embodies all of the things we value as Girl Scouts – and former GSUSA CEO Anna Marie Chaves agrees. With extraordinary courage, confidence, and character, Malala is taking action to make the world a better place.
Last year, Malala celebrated her 18th birthday by opening a school for Syrian refugees. Your troop doesn’t have to do something on quite that large of a scale in order to do something huge for girls’ education.
Celebrate Malala’s birthday and earn your Global Action Award!
Each year, Girl Scouts of all levels can earn their Global Action Award. This award connects the WAGGGS sisterhood by helping girls work together to make a difference on a topic that affects girls and women all over the world.
The theme for this year’s Global Action Award is “Increasing Girls’ Access to Education.” In many parts of the world, it is hard for girls to go to school and finish their education, whether due to poverty, lack of schools, or cultural factors. Like Malala, Girl Scouts believes every girl deserves the chance to get an education. By earning the Global Action Award, your girls can be a part of the solution!
- Spend ‘An Evening with Malala’ on July 26. Join River Valleys before the show for some fun activities and learn more about girls’ rights around the world. Download the flyer to purchase exclusive 2 for 1 tickets for girls and their families. Details about pre-show programming will be sent via email to those who register through this special Girl Scout offer.
- Host a screening of He Named Me Malala. Check out the inspiring documentary from your local library or stream it on Hulu, pile some pillows on the floor, and serve Pakistani delicacies like samosas. If you have adventurous eaters, try making falooda – an icy sweet treat for these hot summer nights!
- Hear from an expert. Invite an expert on girls’ access to education to come talk to your troop. Check with the Peace Corps, your Service Unit, or Council to find someone near you.
- Take Action for girls’ education! If your girls are inspired by what they learn and want to do more, help them take on a project to teach others about this important issue. This can be a great Take Action component for their Journey!
To learn more about activities girls can engage in to raise awareness, help solve this worldwide problem, and earn their Global Action Award, check out these guidelines:
Natasha Brownlee – Natasha is a Program Specialist at River Valleys, where she develops and leads awesome Girl Scout events – and runs the In the Loop blog! Her background is in curriculum development, programming, and creative writing. She has BA’s in Peace Studies and French and a MSc in Gender, Development & Globalization and has worked with various girl-centered organizations in the US and abroad. Natasha loves traveling around the world, practicing yoga, and hanging out with her dog, Rooney!