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United Nations Urges Girls To Go Global

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As part of the Girl Up pep rally, D.C. area students hauled large cans of water across a gymnasium at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington to get a sense of what life might be like for young women seeking clean water in developing countries.
Jessica Gould
As part of the Girl Up pep rally, D.C. area students hauled large cans of water across a gymnasium at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington to get a sense of what life might be like for young women seeking clean water in developing countries.

By Jessica Gould

The United Nations Foundation is calling on the next generation of “philanthro-teens” to make a difference for girls in developing countries.

Kathy Calvin is CEO of the United Nations Foundation. And she says it isn't easy being a girl in the developing world.

"One in seven girls has to get married before she’s even 15. Is that fair?" Calvin asks. "And many girls have to walk 15 hours a day to get water and fuel for their families just to have basic necessities. Is that fair?"

Nine year-old Baltimore resident Tyhera Butler doesn’t think so.

"I think girls 15 and my age shouldn’t have to carry that much," Butler says. "If they have to marry young, at least the husband can show some pride and help them with it."

And she plans to do something about it.

"When I get older, I’m probably going to go there and at least help them carry it, or at least find a way to get it back to their house without them having to carry all that," she says.

And that’s just the kind of activism Calvin hopes to inspire.

The Foundation recently launched Girl Up, a campaign to support young women in developing countries. Now, the Foundation is holding pep rallies to raise awareness.

"We’re trying to create a movement here," she says.

Calvin is calling on girls to give a “high five” to their sisters abroad by learning five facts about them or donating $5.00 for school supplies, clean water, and health care.

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