Educating others on the causes you care about, whether at home, work, or in the classroom, is one of the easiest yet most impactful actions you can take to bring about positive change. No matter your age or platform, everyone has a part to play in making a difference, especially when it comes to the many complex barriers preventing girls from attending school worldwide.
Greta Drūkteinytė, a student in Lithuania, decided to research Girl Rising and the issue of girls’ education in other countries for a class assignment. Through her presentation and a survey she created to accompany it, Greta was able to shed light on an issue that many of her fellow classmates had never considered before, as well as encourage them to place a higher value on their own education.
We caught up with Greta to hear more about her project:
“A couple weeks ago, in my English class, I got tasked to make a presentation about a charity or organization. I chose Girl Rising. I thought that it’d be an amazing opportunity to educate myself and others, since here in Lithuania, we don’t really hear a lot about countries where girls can’t educate themselves, because everyone has access. Going to school is not difficult for either of us – boys or girls.
I spend a lot of time on the Internet and use apps like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, where I follow lots of accounts which promote gender equality, self-love and acceptance, girls’ empowerment and feminism. I thought that by talking about this, I’d make at least a small difference, since we don’t hear about this every day. Do I think that we should? Yes!
A lot of us complain that we have to go to school and learn things that we don’t necessarily want to learn because “We won’t need them in the future.” I feel like hearing about these problems more would help us learn to love and value what we have now. Actually, one of my presentation’s main tasks was a survey, and one of the questions was if our youth should value their education more. The girls I’ve interviewed had to answer this question twice – before and after a video, which was about a girl who was struggling to get an education. The results were quite different – after the video, all of the girls said that we should, in fact, value it more.
The fact that the video actually changed girls’ opinions for the better was one of my favourite things about my little project. Some of them even thanked me for letting them take the survey, since ‘it made them understand that things like this [girls not being able to educate themselves, poverty, forced servitude] are still happening, but no one acknowledges it.’
I think the first step towards making education available for girls everywhere is to end the stigma that girls are nothing good. If we inspired girls – or not even necessarily just girls – if we inspired each other, we would all be happier. To have someone supporting you is what keeps you going. Girls have a right to go to school, to be supported, loved, inspired - because they’re not less of a person than boys.
Finally, in my own country/community, women should respect, love and support each other. We still treat each other like a competition, which is wrong and is good for nothing. We should inspire each other, compliment each other and empower each other. At least, I’d really like that.”
We hope Greta’s story will inspire you to take advantage of the chances you have to share your knowledge and passion with others! Knowledge truly is power, and as the message of education is amplified and spread, more and more girls will feel empowered to pursue their own education and become leaders of change in their communities. Want to get started? Download our Take Action Guide to discover simple ways that you can start reaching out today!