Give Differently: Give a Girl a Voice

by Allison Costa

I’ve always been interested in television/radio production and media in general, which is why there might be a cassette tape or two with recordings of my hard-hitting news talk radio show that I hosted in my basement for the cat when I was 8.

So, naturally, when I started working at Plan International USA I was immediately interested in our Girls Making Media (GMM) program, a network of media clubs in West African high schools. Students come together to raise awareness of gender issues using various forms of media. Members learn journalism skills and use film, photography, social and traditional media to encourage a dialogue between their peers and community members about key issues facing young people.

On a recent business trip to Ghana I got to meet with the GMM club at Lipke Mate High School and I was able to see the program at work. This amazing group of enthusiastic young people impressed me so much with their drive and determination to foster change within their own communities. The club members are well-spoken and passionate about learning and developing technical skills.

I had a moment to speak with the club president, Lizzie, and she shared with me her dream of becoming the best journalist in Ghana. “I can be the very best journalist in Ghana,” she said, “because being in the club taught me how to write articles and news releases, give presentations, host and perform interviews.”

She then shared photos and stories about the club’s latest accomplishments which ranged from a successful community litter pick-up project to being invited to speak on their national radio station about their activism.

After learning about the positive impact the club has had for not only its participants but for the community as a whole, I realized that GMM is so much more than skills development club, it is a life changing opportunity for so many young people. It is through the generosity of Plan supporters that this and the other GMM clubs exist. Without the commitment of our donors to this special program, Lizzie and her classmates would never realize their potential to create change using media. That is why I choose to support the program through Plan’s Give Differently initiative.

Give Differently is a way for people to give meaningful gifts while contributing to the life-changing programs in developing communities around the world which Plan supports. This holiday season I am ignoring Black Friday and Cyber Monday and participating in #GivingTuesday by purchasing the “Give a Girl a Voice” Gift of Hope for my family. This gift supports a portion of the GMM program which provides the training for girls to participate in a community broadcasted radio show about relevant issues in their area.

On #GivingTuesday I encourage you to take a look at GiveDifferently.org and discover the array of Gifts of Hope Plan offers. Find a Gift that inspires you and give a meaningful present to a loved one this holiday season.

Comments