She Can appeal – helping girls overcome poverty and violence | ActionAid UK

Michelle Lowery

Communications Team

Beyoncé puts it so boldly – “Who run the world? Girls.” It’s a great vision. But we also have to consider some facts. The majority of the world’s poorest people are women. One in three women globally will experience violence in their lifetime simply because they are women. This has to change. 

10-year-old girl carrying sack on her head walks through field on way to dumpsite where she works near Mombasa, Kenya
10-year-old Kembi on her way to work on Mwakirunge Dumpsite in Mombasa, Kenya

When a girl is born poor her life chances are severely reduced. Young women have fewer rights, less access to education, sexual health services, networks, decision making, safety and control over their bodies. They are trapped – trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, violence and inequality

Women are at the very heart of ActionAid’s work

We must all take some responsibility in addressing the injustice girls face.  Women are at the very heart of ActionAid’s work and today we launch our brand new fundraising appeal She Can… to help girls overcome poverty and violence.

What’s more, the UK government has pledged to double all donations to the appeal. With a target of £2.8 million we’ll be able to help more young women and girls and work with them to achieve their potential. We believe that with the UK’s support She Can… be anything.

Our She Can… campaign will help girls such as Kembi, 10, escape a life of grinding poverty and degradation. In order to raise money to help feed her family, Kembi scavenges on one of Kenya’s largest rubbish dumps in the port city of Mombasa.

Every day, Kembi has no choice but to work on the site which is unsafe, poorly lit, with mounds of burning and toxic waste. She is in danger of sexual harassment, violent assault and serious health hazards.

ActionAid funds education and protection facilities

ActionAid is funding a local women’s network that provides education and protection facilities for girls and women who work at the dump.

Justine Greening, Secretary of State for International Development, said:

“By matching all public donations pound for pound, we could improve security for over 60,000 girls and women living in some of the world’s poorest urban slums. Safety from violence will help them finish school, get a job and take control of their own lives, so they can lift themselves out of poverty for good.”

With the help of the UK public we can create change

We have a huge fundraising target, but we know that with the help of our incredibly generous supporters and the UK public we can achieve this and make a difference globally. In 2013, we – with government matched funding – raised £2.7million for our disaster preparedness work worldwide which helped thousands of the world’s poorest people prepare to survive the next disaster.

This years’ She Can... appeal runs for three months, from 26 March to 25 June 2014.

Donations will go twice as far to help more girls

Please donate to our appeal. The donations will go twice as far and ActionAid can help more young women to live free from injustice and harm, so that they can fulfil their potential, and work themselves and their communities out of poverty.

Donate to help girls escape the poverty trap