How’s the Obama Foundation Doing with Building Global Girls Alliance?

The Obamas launched Let Girls Learn during Obama’s presidency, and are now continuing the work through their own foundation’s program, Global Girls Alliance. (Photo Credit: Global Girls Alliance.)

When we last checked in at the newly formed Obama Foundation, the former First Lady Michelle Obama and her husband, President Barack Obama were laying the groundwork for cultivating a new coalition of organizations focused on girls globally.

Through a collaboration with GoFundMe, the Obama Foundation has established the Global Girls Alliance Fund, helping to raise funds for grassroots organizations to make more headway with educating girls. The initiative accepts applications from eligible nonprofits already working to increase educational opportunities for girls.

In October of 2018, Michelle Obama announced the Global Girls Alliance, encouraging the public to help make education a reality for girls worldwide. (photo courtesy of the Obama Foundation)

Now Global Girls Alliance is highlighting a Chicago-based nonprofit named The Women’s Global Education Project and is recognizing the work they are doing both in the field and with a compelling new documentary about female genital mutilation (FGM).

The film, entitled “Rebecca’s Story” profiles the life of Rebecca, who was subject to FGM at age 12. An estimated 130 million women and girls have been put through this dangerous and unnecessary surgery, with devastating emotional and social consequences. Rebecca’s Story was filmed in Kenya and follows the story of how FGM marked the end of Rebecca’s education and her expected transition into adult duties of a wife and mother. WGEP worked with Rebecca through a program called Alternative Rite of Passage, which helps ensure Rebecca can consider other alternatives for her daughter.

With its support for nonprofits already doing work in promoting education for girls, the Obama Foundation is now beginning to drill down on specific public health issues to address women’s equality globally. Ending FGM is one of the key issues to changing the course of women’s lives around the world.

The fundraising project with WGEP is aiming to raise $45,000, and is kicking off on March 8, International Women’s Day. Funds raised will pay for an array of services including scholarships, health education, and violence prevention workshops.

The Women’s Global Education Project is just one of many organizations being given a platform by the Global Girls Alliance, as it works to promote girls’ education around the world. There are now fourteen campaigns on the GoFundMe page for the Global Girls Alliance, doing work in multiple countries including Guatemala, Ghana, India, Uganda, Senegal, Kenya, and Malawi, as well as through a fund based out of Washington D.C., which has exceeded its goal of raising $250,000 and has matching support from the P&G Fund.

Learn more about the Global Girls Alliance on the alliance’s website.

Author: Kiersten Marek

Kiersten Marek, LICSW, is the founder of Philanthropy Women. She practices clinical social work and writes about how women donors and their allies are advancing social change.

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