Whether it’s making an impact within Delta or on the other side of the world, Girl Up Delta has been getting down to business over these past six months since they formed.
As a chapter of the United Nations’ Girl Up campaign – which aims to promote gender equality and social change – the group of Delta teens have carried out three initiatives so far.
Their most recent ones, both of which they did in May, were fundraising $2,200 for Room to Read, a global non-profit tackling illiteracy and gender inequality, and putting together nearly 30 care packages for a women’s transition house in Delta.
Co-presidents Yazmine Grewal and Ranvir Otal, who are Grade 11 students at Southpointe Academy, agree it has been an empowering and rewarding journey.
“It feels so good [to be giving back to the Delta community], and personally, it feels so good to see the smiles on the faces of people who we’re helping,” says Otal.
For their Room to Read fundraiser, both were pleasantly surprised at how much money they were able to bring in to support the non-profit.
According to Room to Read’s website, $300 can help a girl stay in school for one year, meaning that Girl Up Delta was able to help seven girls across the world in Asia and Africa where the organization focuses their efforts.
“Last year, we weren’t able to do any of this. We didn’t even know [Girl Up] existed, and then this year, we’re able to build something just over the span of six months and have other youth involved, other girls involved,” says Grewal.
With the help of a Rising Youth grant and a Small Neighbourhood grant, Girl Up Delta also collaborated with a local women’s transition house to create care packages intended to improve mental health and well-being.
“We talked to the transition house before donating them, and they said it would be a great idea to give something that they can pass time with and just enjoy,” says Grewal.
They included motivational cards, word searches, puzzles, pencil crayons and other activity-based things in their care packages, which is uniquely different from traditional hygiene-product-based care packages.
And as previously reported by the Optimist, Girl Up Delta ran a period poverty drive in support of United Way’s Period Promise campaign back in February.
“A big thank you to the Delta community and our school [for the support],” says Otal.
With their group having now expanded to nearly a dozen, both co-presidents are hopeful that other local teens will be inspired to join them in their work to achieve gender equity worldwide.
If you’re interested in what Girl Up Delta is up to or are an interested teen looking to join them, check out their social media @girlupdelta or send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.