Girls helping girls across the world

 Though girls in different countries wear different clothes and follow different customs, in  numerous ways they partake the same  studies and speak the same language.

The world is getting smaller, and yet we cannot be further apart. 

 Because girls often face unique challenges and obstacles, I founded Girls Across Borders in hopes of bringing girls together from around the world and creating a sense of global community for young women. 

 Most girls struggle to find their voice and stay true to themselves, despite what society asks of them. We share many of the same insecurities about our bodies and finding our  purpose. 

 I thought that if girls from different parts of the world unite, they can support each other and strive to create a more tolerant society.

 It doesn’t matter where they come from. We have similar challenges, hopes and goals. I believe that when we connect girls from different backgrounds and cultures, we can support each other and share our  experiences despite our differences. 

 Through Girls Across Borders, girls can meet, educate and inform each other, and discuss issues that affect our world across geographic and cultural borders.

Room to share on Zoom

Girls Across Borders is an online platform that brings together girls from different countries. The platform offers members a space  to exchange ideas, learn about other cultures and work towards creating a more tolerant world. 
 The purpose of the platform is to educate and empower girls and  promote cultural awareness and understanding. 
 The platform is still in its infancy but  already has members in several countries including the UK, Ghana, Germany, Nigeria, the US, Russia and China. I hope to continue to grow the group and make a positive impact on the world through dialogue, learning and social impact Our monthly Zoom chats and  WhatsApp group are our only online forums, but we plan to use other platforms as well. At this point, membership is by deferral. Our members recommend girls who they feel can contribute or are connected to a reliable source (school, women’s organization, etc.).New members must have someone who can vouch for them.

Ensuring a safe space for sharing

During our chats we use our cameras to prevent anyone  joining us with a fake identity. In the coming months, we plan to have a “Bring a Friend” session where members bring friends over for a Zoom call. In this way we can develop our belonging based on personal relationships or relationships. 
 As we grow and increase our membership, we plan to hold physical and virtual sessions in different locations, hold group classes or attend events. 
 I started Girls Across Borders to create a safe and positive place for girls from different countries to meet and connect.
 We worry so much about what people  think of us and how people will react to our opinions. 
 At Girls Across Borders we can express ourselves without being judged. We need positive spaces where our opinions matter, where we can agree to disagree, and where we can boldly admit our insecurities or ignorance.

Beyond pretence and peer pressure

This space is so important because there are few places where we can truly be ourselves. We are expected to behave in certain ways at school. There are many expectations of us at home. But at Girls Across Borders we can be ourselves. We can support each other and show that girls can come together to lift their spirits. 
 I used my contacts to start and develop Girls Across Borders. Finding girls from different countries, cultural backgrounds and socio-economic conditions was initially a challenge as one of the main goals of Girls Across Borders is to encourage diversity and  diversity of opinion. 
 To this end, I am reaching out to more international organizations to reach more girls. This is an important step in  the development of the platform as it will lead to a larger network of girls.These connections allow Girls Across Borders to continue to grow and have a greater impact, for example by mobilizing across borders to address global and local issues. 
 We have achieved so much in a short  time. But we still have some challenges to solve. The problem of  censorship in some countries was discussed in one of our zoom chats. We will try to be as open as possible and  hope that our members can join us even if they live in a repressive country.

The potential for a powerful platform

Planning for time zones can be challenging, especially when girls cannot attend because it is too late or too early for them. As a solution, we had to split our monthly chat into two parts so that people from different time zones could participate. It hasn’t been a big deal so far, but I’m sure we’ll gradually switch to timezone-based sessions. We can also share the Zoom recording on our WhatsApp group for those who haven’t joined. 
 We need advocates who can attend selected sessions to educate us on a wide range of topics: CV writing, leadership skills, gender mainstreaming, mental health, etc.
 Girls Across Borders also needs to recruit new members to expand our conversations, perspectives, and initiatives. Our goal is to grow beyond borders and have an online community of engaged and inspired young women using their voices and actions for personal growth and for the greater good. 
 Girls Across Borders can become a powerful platform for girls by promoting tolerance, education and empowerment.
 

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