Too Young to Wed launches Girls Empowerment Campaign in rural Ethiopia

Too Young to Wed, a non-profit organization, that employs visual media, photography exhibits and campaigns to educate and engage the global community to demand an end to the practice of child marriage, has launched a new Girls’ Empowerment Campaign in rural Ethiopia. I wrote at length about Too Young to Wed in a must-read post last week and wanted to introduce their new campaign today in honor of Giving Tuesday (Giving Tuesday is a day that asks people to consider giving back to their favorite charities and always falls on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States).

By partnering with local nonprofits, Too Young to Wed supports income-generating projects, literacy classes and girl engagement groups where the girls in their stories live. One such project is in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, a place that I actually had the pleasure of visiting myself this past June as a fellow with the International Reporting Project.

Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is estimated that around 80-90% of Ethiopia’s population live in rural, remote regions and over 30% of the population lives under the international poverty line of $1.25 per day (1) and the majority live under $2 a day. Child and maternal mortality health rates are falling yet still remain quite high, while life expectancy and education rates are low.

Two young girls near Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Photo credit: Stephanie Sinclair

Two young girls near Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Photo credit: Stephanie Sinclair

The status of women is also low and Ethiopia has one of the most severe crises of child marriage in the world today. Although the legal age of marriage is 18 for both males and females it is widely ignored.

Child Labor, Marriage, Education and Survival Global Issues Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises SOCIAL GOOD

Giving Tuesday: Giving Back the Give

Today is the first ever Giving Tuesday, a day across the country dedicated to giving back. Launched by the creative minds of the UN Foundation, Unilever Corp. and United Way, what started simply as a great idea turned into a mass event involving over 4,000 organizations in all 50 states.

It is the hope that Giving Tuesday starts a new national day of giving via the collective power of charities, families, businesses and individuals who will transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.  Judging by the media, it is looking like the first Giving Tuesday will be a great success and only continue to grow in years to come.

Gifts that Give Back SOCIAL GOOD

Presents with purpose: Gifts that give back

With the holiday season approaching, most of us are thinking and maybe even dreading shopping for the perfect gift for our family and friends. In a world with so many different things to buy, why not buy something that also gives back in return?

Together with some fellow bloggers from the Global Team of 200, we have composed a list of presents with a purpose. Every item below gives back to either the community who makes the product or to an important cause. There are gifts for men, women and children and lots of fantastic “gifts that give” to choose from.

Here are some of our favorites for this holiday season:

Headbands of Hope:

Story behind it:

“I’ve always loved headbands. It’s a simple way to add a little style to any outfit. But after my internship at the Make-A-Wish Foundation, I realized that headbands could be more than just a way to keep your hair back. For girls and women everywhere, their hair is a part of their feminine identity. Wigs can be uncomfortable and unappealing, especially to younger girls.

Many girls fighting childhood cancer lose their hair during their rigorous chemotherapy treatments. Headbands are the perfect way for these girls to keep their feminine identity and have a constant reminder that they’re not alone.

However, throughout this journey, I’ve learned that these headbands are just as important to girls with hair than girls with hair loss as well.

I’ve distributed headbands to girls who are about to start their treatment and haven’t experienced hair loss yet and I’ve also given headbands to girls who are starting to get their hair back after treatment.

With or without hair, Headbands of Hope provides a movement to spread hope in all girls and fight in the battle against childhood cancer, one headband at a time.
” – Jessica Ekstrom

For every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund life-saving childhood cancer research.

Headbands range from about $15-18 and the website also offers bracelets and t-shirts.

The headbands come in all sorts of beautiful colors, ornamentation and design. This one is called Carnation and sells for $15.85

fashionABLE scarves

The story:

“Your purchase of a fashionABLE scarf creates sustainable business for women in Africa.  Our commitment as a non-profit is to the development of people — fashionABLE works with women who have been exploited due to the effects of poverty.  So, when you purchase a scarf you are providing jobs, and then we send the net profits back to holistically rehabilitate more women. This is the beauty of non-profit….”
Scarves provide jobs, profits provide restoration

Each scarf is hand-made by an Ethiopian woman who has been given a chance at a new, sustainable, dignified life. Her name, photo and story will be included on a tag attached to the scarf, bringing more meaning to the product.

Scarves can be customized and cost between $32-44.


Made By Survivors is an international nonprofit organization which employs and educates survivors of slavery and other human rights abuses, including many women and children living in extreme poverty. Products include jewelry, bags, gifts and cards and prices range. 100% of profits go back to the survivors who made them.

Here is a sample of one of their new bags:  Sweet Life Carryall for $48.00

What I like so much is the fact that 100% of profits goes back to the survivors who made them by programs to support rescue, aftercare, education and employment.

Since 2005 Made by Survivors has successfully:

  • Trained and employed 350 survivor artisans
  • Sent 250 children to school with our Education Fund
  • Trained 70 survivors as artisan goldsmiths – breaking gender barriers
  • Invested $165,000 in building new shelters
  • Invested $65,000  supporting our partners rescue programs
  • Invested $22,000 in aftercare programs for rescued survivors

Feed Projects

To date, FEED has been able to raise enough money through the sale of products to provide over 60 million school meals to children around the world through WFP. FEED has also partnered with the US Fund for UNICEF, raising much-needed funds for their Vitamin A and micronutrient supplements program and providing over 46,000 children with essential nutrients.

FEED offers all sorts of backpacks depending on how your want to help.

I really found the Feed Health Backpack to be amazing as it travels the distance to create change. Check out what is included in each backpack.

TOMS Shoes:

“With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One”. To date, TOMS has donated over 2 million pairs of shoes to children over the world. Pretty impressive!

TOMS shoes comes in all shapes, colors and sizes ranging from the glittery pink pair my daughter has to more casual looking shoes for women and men. Prices start around $36.00.

TOMS also offers eyeglasses:

Another site that offers great gifts that give back is makes it easy to support any cause you choose.The Button tells stores that you want a percentage of every purchase you make donated to the cause of your choice! It’s free and it’s that easy!

Change your world one online purchase at a time.

What are your plans for #GivingTuesday this year? What are some of the gifts you like to give?

For more information on #GivingTuesday, click here.

Gifts that Give Back SOCIAL GOOD

A new way to give back: Giving Tuesday

As an avid world traveler, advocate and global volunteer I’ve often found myself having a difficult time coming to terms with the inequities and injustice in the world. Often times, when I return from a trip abroad I find myself feeling a deep sadness and guilt about how much the “haves” truly have in this world and how much the “have-nots” are left out. Even in the United States, one of the richest, most prosperous countries in the world, we have a huge imbalance between rich and poor that continues to grow.

Volunteering with my little friends in Guatemala who were in an after-school program to help them with school and feed them a much-needed snack.

Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises SOCIAL GOOD