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Tamsin Smith

Tamsin Smith

Posted: June 1, 2010 09:25 AM

Girls Unite

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Modern philanthropy has seen some bold moves of late. Thank you, Mr. Buffett. Blessing to Bill and Melinda Gates. But, remember the first billion-dollar bombshell? Over a decade ago, Ted Turner got fired up about the United States owing over a billion dollars to the United Nations. So, he wrote a check to cover our country's debt and started what is surely one of the most effective models of individual, business, NGO and government partnership -- The United Nations Foundation (UNF).

Today, June 1, marks another historic moment with the launch of a new global UNF campaign: Girl Up. Girl Up rallies American girls to step up and become the next generation of impact philanthropist and empowerment activists. At their own online community http://www.GirlUp.org, girls in this country will get inspired by and educated about the stories of some of the world's hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. Easy, engaging tools motivate them to give a "High Five" to girls around the globe. It doesn't take much -- donating $5, telling 5 friends, learning 5 facts -- to make a big impact. A movement of High Fives across American will provide girls who share their dreams with basic needs like access to school supplies, clean water, life-saving health services, safety from violence and more.

Do I want my daughter to know that she has the power to touch the lives of the 600 million adolescent girls living in developing countries for the better? You bet I do. That's exactly what this is all about: girls standing up for themselves. The next Ted Turner may live in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia or Evanston, Ill. Think what they will accomplish together, when they join forces.

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Learn more, join us at GirlUp.org.