October 3rd: The Grail
Welcome to Day 3!
Today is sponsored by The Grail. Begun in 1921, the Grail is an international, ecumenical, spiritual community of women called to create a sustainable world, transforming the planet into a place of justice, peace and love. Among various activities, Grail focuses on women and girls empowerment; promotes and advocates for girls’ rights; develops a network of girls and young women leaders to join community, local and global leadership roles.
We know that girls are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The Grail has taken action in Mozambique and Portugal to combat that.
The Grail in Maputo is working with two completely different groups of girls: one is a group of street girls, the other lives in a boarding school.
The girls in the shelter have limited access to digital space: they have neither cell phones or computers. Their information gets manually transmitted through a reception center. This takes time and often the information is past due or filtered when they get it. Due to Convid-19, many things required digital access. This presented a double challenge: the girls felt excluded since they didn’t have cell phones and for those who did, it’s very expensive.
On the other hand, the other group is doing well…connecting with friends and family, attending school online, engaging in virtual activities and girl-related events.
The Grail mentors have continued to work with both groups, finding ways and resources to keep the girls involved. Unfortunately, some girls continue being at a disadvantage due to the difficult access to virtual space.
Another activity is a group of girls who are focusing on improving the mental health of all girls in their community. They believe that the covid pandemic is not supposed to take away their dreams. They use social media platforms to campaign for their rights. October 11 being a school day, they marked the following weekend to observe their day. They believe their voices matter even during the pandemic.
In Portugal a group of 7 girls are working on a music project called “Meninas e Mulheres a Conquistar”. They have easy access to digital space because they have cell phones and computers. Digital space has become a way to study, to express themselves through social media, to keep in touch with family and friends and also to make new friends. It’s a way to shorten physical distances.
This virtual space has become a safe place for this group of girls to continue fighting for gender equality. Before the pandemic, they had met to work on a music project, sharing ideas and defining tasks before starting to record. “Meninas e Mulheres a Conquistar ” is a way of creating awareness about Gender Based Violence. Of course, with the pandemic there are still obstacles but they believe this project can make a difference, so they keep dreaming.
Join us on Twitter at 11am to continue the conversation!
Facebook: The Grail at the UN (@grailgirls2030)
Don’t forget to use the hashtags:
#Covid19CantStopGirlsDreams #EqualDigitalSpaceforGirls #DigitalInclusion4Girls #IDG2021 #IDGxWGG #DayoftheGirl