Girl Power: Worldreader and FC Barcelona Women’s Team
By Susan Moody
In May, we launched a project that made us smile for weeks: With the support of FC Barcelona, we put images of our kids’ heroes onto their Kindles and encouraged them to read more. You can learn more about how this relationship started here.
I had the privilege of being in Ghana when the kids turned on their e-readers and saw personal messages from global soccer legends, like Messi, saying, “To Rita from Messi: Champions Read.” The excitement was thick in the classroom — as if Messi had somehow entered the room and made eye contact with each kid. A wide-eyed, 14-year-old girl named Deborah asked me, “Does Messi know who I am?” ”Yes,” I told her.
That brings us back to where we are today.
We’ve noticed that the girls in our program are experiencing paradigm shifts. Okanta Kate read The Shark by Peggy Oopong and couldn’t believe that a woman in Ghana could actually be a writer. Now she’s writing her own poems and stories and wants to motivate people to have a better future.
Despite this shift, the odds are stacked against many girls like Kate. There are more than 36 million primary school-aged girls who aren’t enrolled in school in Africa. Yet, there is an enormous correlation between the number of years a girl is in school and family income.
Thankfully, on Oct. 11, the United Nations will shine a light onto this global problem. The organization will mark the first-ever International Day of the Girl to create awareness around the importance of educating girls. Worldreader decided to participate in this historic day and do something that might inspire Kate and others in Ghana to keep studying — and to keep dreaming.
We spoke to FC Barcelona about their awesome women’s team, who won the national champions in 2012. Reading about the players is impressive. It’s clear they are an incredible group of women and are wonderful role models for younger generations.
So, we’re thrilled today to share with you some great news. Last week, we pushed images of the Barça women’s team onto our kids’ Kindles. The reaction was amazing, just like it was in May. Girls and boys alike were stunned that there was a female team. We’re so happy that our girls are seeing messages like Education+Girls= MOTIVATION!
Like all mothers of girls, I’m always looking for ways to demonstrate that you can be whatever you want to be- you just have to work really hard. I know that the kids in our program are thinking about Ana María “Ani” Escribano López, Miriam Dieguez de Oña, Melisa Nicolau Martín and Marta Unzué Urdaniz… and believe that they are closer to breaking the mold.
Educating girls is one of the most efficient ways to break cycles of poverty and make the world a better place. Join Worldreader, FC Barcelona and 10×10 in celebrating International Day of the Girl on Oct. 11. Visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and see how you can get involved. Here’s a hint: Education + Girls = ????.