March 8 is almost upon us and International Women’s Day is a time for us all to reflect on change, progress made and a brilliant reason to celebrate acts of courage and determination by extraordinary women around the world, and the impact they have on their communities.
International Women’s Day marks a day of celebration of achievements throughout history and across all countries. Despite so much progress being made to protect women’s rights in recent times plus campaigns to actively promote, it is apparent that women still don’t have the same rights and opportunities as men, according to the UN. I couldn’t believe the statistic that 1.3 billion of the world’s poorest people are women and yet still, in this day and age, receive on average 30-40% percent less pay than men for the same work.
Rape, discrimination and domestic violence are still significant causes of disability and death worldwide, astounding that with the speed at which we seem to evolve as a society, adapt and strive for a better environment and quality of life in general. There are still acts of such degradation towards women.
What does this teach young girls about their value and place in society? It is heart breaking to know, just how much harder I may have to work to fill my 4 year old daughter with confidence and teach her about her values as a woman, self-worth and self-esteem etc. more than I may have to with my two sons, due merely to the inequality around us. It may not come to that but it is something I am certainly aware of and getting prepared for.
Last year, I was given the opportunity to help a charity in York, Sierra Leone (where my grandfather was a very well-known and powerful lawyer) to build the only “all-girls school” on the entire peninsular. The Hope Academy For Girls has become a fierce passion of mine as I set upon a journey to help them raise an additional £14,000 to complete the school this September to help some of the poorest and most vulnerable teenage girls, who are at extreme risk of being married off as teenagers, young pregnancies, exploitation, abuse and prostitution.
For me and on behalf of all Hopes fundraisers, 8 March will be a culmination of celebrations of all the strong, determined and courageous women worldwide who continue to strive to make the world a better and fairer place for women and young girls to inhabit. It’s also a celebration of how far I have come on my own journey from raising 3 children under 7 (the newest turning 1 year old in a few weeks) to securing 7-figure funding and building a business from scratch to what it is today.
It’s not been an easy challenge and a massive roller-coaster and occasionally, an incredible battle to stay determined and driven whilst also meeting the needs and demands of nurturing a young family.
MyFamilyClub.co.uk has been a labour of love, ensuring we help mums and dads nationwide with their finances, educating them on how to take control and giving them back a sense of contribution to the family unit financially, whether currently working or not.
Watching my daughter grow and the challenges I have faced propelled me to firmly place my “flag in the sand” and embark on launching a series of international fundraising events to be held this March/April in London, New York, Hanoi, Bermuda, Texas, Berlin & Freetown with the sole intention of securing the young girls’ of York, Sierra Leone a brighter future. To be able to look back when International Women’s Day March 2015 comes around with a huge amount of pride, sense of achievement and the knowledge that we helped to make a massive impact to the future of the young girls, giving them hope, some belief in themselves, validation, purpose and most security.
“Equality for women is progress for all” is this year’s International Women’s Days theme which focusses on the eradication of poverty, the empowerment of women and supporting their full enjoyment of human rights. Overall, it stresses the vital role of women as agents of development and change. I am so proud to be a part of this.
If you would like to attend a Hope Academy for Girls fundraising events, you can find more information here: http://eventsofhop.weebly.com or email [email protected] for more details. At Hope Academy we are always looking for passionate members to join our fundraising team to host events and help spread awareness of the cause.
If you would like to donate prizes for the auction, please get in contact on the email above.