The second International Day of the Girl Child will be celebrated on October 11, 2013 and we are thrilled to welcome another delegation of Because I am a Girl ambassadors to New York City to mark this special occasion. In the coming weeks, we will introduce you to each of our fantastic ambassadors. Here is Asmaa's story.
Because I am a Girl Ambassador, Asmaa, is a 21-year-old activist from Egypt who focuses on promoting child rights and eliminating gender-based violence. From a very young age, she recognized that lack of awareness about rights makes a person more vulnerable to exploitation and perpetuates the cycle of poverty. Asmaa believes that “learning about your rights protects you from exploitations and gives you power.”
With a curious mind, Asmaa sought any opportunity to learn more about her rights and how to practice them. As a child sponsored through Plan, she was given the opportunity to participate in many different activities which helped Asmaa learn more about the rights of children. Inspired by what she learned, she began to teach others about their rights and how to protect them by becoming a child leader in her community.
“I enjoyed being a child leader, because I strongly believe that when children learn about their rights, they become more empowered and better citizens when they grow up,” adds Asmaa.
As Asmaa grew older, she became more involved in her community. In her new role as a field coordinator for Plan Egypt’s youth program, Asmaa actively engaged in many initiatives that aimed to raise awareness about political rights and promote civic education. Through games, initiatives and other activities, Asmaa, in cooperation with other youth leaders, created better public understanding of key concepts like tolerance, gender equity, and participation and successfully helped different target groups put the knowledge into action.
After Asmaa graduated from secondary school, her hunger for learning led her to complete a diploma in human rights and civil society. During this time, Asmaa, along with 4 young men created the first formal youth-led organization in her community called Pioneers of Development . “I was the only female among the founders of the organization. That made me so proud!”
Asmaa dreams of becoming the voice of all women who are voiceless, not only in Egypt but all over the world. She is currently realizing that dream after participating in a regional conference in Kenya where she represented all the voice of all Egyptian youth. And the dream continues as she joins other Because I am a Girl ambassadors in New York City for the International Day of the Girl.