We are #withMalala, and the women of the world.
Recently, three people from our team were in Boston at Inbound 15 with 14,000 other marketing professionals. What a remarkable experience that was. What touched me the most was that the conference sponsored the Malala Fund. What a beautiful young woman, and what a beautiful heart to support others who are doing good things. I am honoured to be a part of an organization who bases our whole culture around making good people successful, but as a humanist I am also deeply touched by being a part of a culture who support women’s education.
We work with good people, like Hillberg & Berk, who empower women.
Girls’ education touches my heart.
Nine years ago today I traveled to New Delhi, India. For three months, I worked in an all girls orphanage with 63 girls, ranging from ages 4 through 16.
I went to give, yet what I received turned my life upside down.
When I arrived the girls were not acclimated to being touched. The house mothers, while full of love for the girls, did not want to create jealousy so would not cuddle them. Contrary, I would scoop them up and the once stiff hugs developed into deep, connected embraces full of warmth.
The girls went to school in the morning, and, as an arts educator, I would prepare lessons for them while they were away. When they returned we would learn English, dance, create art, and sing together.
My absolute favourite memory was in the cafeteria where we would flip a couple stools around for drums and dance for hours. We shared a lot of laughs and a lot of love.
While filled with love, my heart had never been so broken. Over the following months, I learned their stories. Many of these girls were abandoned, and not orphans. As a parent, I can not imagine dropping your child off and walking away.
Why are girls so unwanted?
I asked Rekha, our Interactive Developer from India, her thoughts. She told me that comes down to the parents’ mentalities. Some people think boys can extend families and their names, while a girl is a burden financially who will eventually leave. People of this negative mentality will not educate their girls, and hope to be rid of them through marriage or some other means.
It is very sad, I hate this mentality. I was very fortunate to have parents who wanted me to be independent.
– REKHA PATEL, INTERACTIVE DEVELOPER
Over the past twenty years, the Indian government and various other organizations have risen up to improve women’s education, development, careers, and self-worth. Still, narrow-minded people shape the opportunities for education for millions of girls across India. Rekha is so thankful to have been raised in a progressive family that want to see their daughters educated and independent. It is because of this Rekha was able to get the education she deserved, find her own identity, marry her husband and move to Canada. Because of her parents, we get to work with her at Look.
Malala is an advocate for girls’ education.
If you haven’t heard about Malala Yousafzai, she is a 19-year-old powerhouse and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who blogged anonymously for the BBC when she was 11 years old. She wrote about the injustices she faced as a girl in Pakistan. When she was 15 the Taliban discovered her identity and shot her in the head. I don’t know about you, but that makes me furious. This firecracker didn’t die. She arose stronger and built an organization that touches girls’ lives around the globe. You can learn more about her fund and her work here.
I bought her book at the Inbound 15 conference, and can not wait to dig in. What’s more, in October her new documentary will be screened in select theatres. Please support it by going to see it and spreading the word.
I dare you to support women.
With that support, our world will become a more kind, more beautiful (more emotional) place. You can make a difference.