Celebrating Tay Thi Nguyen and the International Day of the Girl Child
In case you missed it October 11 was the “International Day of the Girl Child” a day of international observation and support for the ongoing empowerment and equal rights of women across the globe. 1.1 billion of us in fact.
Established by the UN in 2012, the International Day of the Girl has been running for 5 years now. The United Nations website states:
“On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights.
Adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, not only during these critical formative years, but also as they mature into women. If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to change the world – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders. An investment in realising the power of adolescent girls upholds their rights today and promises a more equitable and prosperous future, one in which half of humanity is an equal partner in solving the problems of climate change, political conflict, economic growth, disease prevention, and global sustainability.”
To mark this day Room to Read celebrated by honouring one of their girls’ programs’ most accomplished graduates, Tay Thi Nguyen from Vietnam. A story of persistence and grit that shows just what can be achieved when an organisation like Room to Read, gives girls like Tay Thi a helping hand.
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Tay Thi Nguyen was never destined for an education, born into an impoverished family in Mekong Delta Vietnam, she, like many, was expected to drop out after primary school and work as a handmaid to earn money for her family. Her parents even burnt her books twice in an attempt to stop her from learning which, sadly, is not uncommon.
But Tay Thi was determined and with a burning passion to learn, she did whatever she could to continue her education, sneaky around and borrowing books, until she was found by Room to Read. They sponsored her through their Girls’ Program and supported Tay Thi materially and emotionally through her education and through the harsh objections of her family.
Today Tay Thi has not only become the first person in her village to finish college BUT she had a New York Times article written about her by Nicholas Kristoff, describing her as “the world’s college graduate of the year”. Tay Thi Nguyen is the definition of inspiring, watch her tell her story here:
Someone else who celebrated “International Day of the Girl Child” by recognising Room to Read this year was Mamamia and the Mamamia Podcast Network! This year Mamamia are calling on people to donate to Room to Read and sponsor girls just like Tay Thi. To start things off with a bang Mamamia has already pledged to sponsor 10 girls for a year. You can too by donating whatever you can manage via this link https://give.roomtoread.org/campaign/mamamia-celebrates-international-day-of-the-girl/c149304.
Lets give girls everywhere a fighting chance for a future!