The Girl Effect is defined as the powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.
When I was 7 my family moved to Africa...the middle of Africa, that is, to Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic...for a young, blond, California girl this was, to put it mildly, a HUGE shift in culture, language, lifestyle, family life, friends, all around LIFE changes beyond description...I saw things and experienced the raw reality of life, for which I had not been prepared for, no one could prepare me for that type of change.
The open market, unusal foods, shifts in security, I remember being viewed as a very different kind of person, my hair and fair skin was something of an awe-like nature to this culture, it made me feel separated and uncomfortable in a way I could not define at 7....this was to be my life for a few years.
Private French school, arts, education, music, so different from life in So. Cal....and I fit in, but always felt different. All the while, I would see the young African girls, close to my age, walking by and working everyday on the busy road near where we lived, carrying large bundles on their backs and heads, carrying babies, which I thought were brothers and sisters, but now do not know...I had no idea what was happening there at this time and now realize that life in these cultures, does not change or shift too much over time, and so The Girl Effect speaks to me on so many levels and I see this and it touches my soul...I know this to be true, I know it is real...let's make a difference...today.
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