The coronavirus pandemic has affected all of us in different ways. With schools and businesses closed, stay-at-home orders in place, and social distancing, it’s easy to feel isolated. These challenges can be especially hard for girls and women who already face cultural and societal pressures. During the pandemic, women and girls globally are expected to do three times as much unpaid care work for their families and communities. Meanwhile, they are more likely than men to have informal or low-paying jobs that are at risk of disappearing, and school-aged girls are less likely to have access to
That’s why we launched Girls’ Voices at Home—to provide a sense of community and togetherness in an uncertain time. Our online community is a place of creativity and solidarity for girls around the world.
To help spread positivity during this crisis, we invited girls everywhere to participate in our “Spread Hope” challenge, asking them to answer “What gives you hope during this time?” in a short video. The response was amazing, with girls all over the world sending in their messages of hope. Now, we want to share the five winning messages of hope with you!
Annabel, 14 years old, Arizona
Annabel reminds us of the resiliency of the human spirit. She shares her hope that girls going through this crisis will come out of it stronger than ever.
Melanie, 15 years old, Texas
Melanie shares the hope and inspiration she’s gotten from her teachers during this time, who are doing everything they can to be there. She encourages us to be hopeful that the crisis will foster love and togetherness around the world.
Alexis, 16 years old, Virginia
Alexis finds hope in books, timeless pieces of encouragement. She shares the hopeful message that the pandemic will unify us and create a burst of collaboration on all fronts.
Charity, 15 years old, Uganda
Charity is hopeful that she’ll one day be someone who can stand up and speak for those who cannot, like marginalized and abused women in her country. She reminds us that we’re in a historical time, and will one day tell our children and grandchildren how we came together to beat a deadly virus.
Najma, 18 years old, Afghanistan
Najma reminds us that even though it may be hard to stay hopeful right now, things won’t be like this forever. If we lose hope, we lose ourselves, so let’s be hopeful and rely on each other.
Each winner will receive a $100 prize and a donation made in her name to support girls affected by the coronavirus around the world. It was incredibly hard to narrow down the over 80 heartfelt messages of hope to five winners. We want to thank each and every young woman who shared a message of hope!
Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to our “Spread Hope” challenge, we’re opening two new challenges to keep the hope spreading! For graduating seniors now finding themselves navigating their senior year from home, our “Class of 2020” challenge asks them to share how the pandemic has changed their senior year. One winner will be chosen at the end of the month to receive a $1,000 scholarship.
And, to kick off Teacher Appreciation Week, we’re launching the “Thank Your Teacher” challenge, asking girls to share a story of a teacher that changed their lives. At the end of the month, one girl’s story will be chosen as the winner, and she will receive a $100 Visa gift card. Even better, the teacher who changed her life will receive $1,000!
As we continue to work through the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, let’s keep spreading hope to everyone around us, especially girls who will go on to change the world!
To feel even more hope today, check out a montage of all the heartfelt messages we received: