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World Vision launches major drive to find new sponsors for 1,000 girls in poverty

Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 0:22 (IST)

World Vision has launched a major drive to find sponsors for 1,000 girls in developing countries as part of its ongoing work to tackle gender inequality.

The #1000Girls campaign has the ambitious goal of seeing 1,000 more girls in poverty sponsored by the time of the International Day of the Girl on October 11.

The Christian development charity said it was a "critical time" for girls around the world, with many fighting "terrible odds" to secure a positive future.

According to Unicef, 12 million girls worldwide will enter into forced marriages this year alone, while figures from Unesco reveal that 31 million girls will not be able to attend school.

Tim Pilkington, chief executive of World Vision UK, said: "Too often, girls suffer unfair treatment every day in their communities and homes.

"Gender inequality wreaks havoc with a girl's self-belief, contracts her horizons and narrows her ambitions. Such injustices are a scourge on the world's conscience."

He continued: "Motivated by our faith, we stand with these girls. World Vision does not accept that they are second class citizens.

"We believe every girl has a God-given right to reach her full potential. Girls everywhere are standing up for their rights.

"They are breaking through barriers, raising their voices against violence, and setting themselves free."

The campaign is part of World Vision's wider work addressing gender discrimination in 60 countries, focusing on marginalised girls living within areas affected by poverty.

Its work involves helping to keep girls in school and out of forced marriages, while other projects are addressing sexual violence and the stigma around periods. It also mentors girls and has been fitting schools out with girl-friendly toilets.

Much of its work with young girls is funded with the help of child sponsorship.

Mr Pilkington appealed for more sponsors to support the #1000Girls campaign.

"We now have 1000 more girls waiting for a sponsor. Please visit our child sponsorship page, find a girl and stand with her," he said.

"When you sponsor a girl, you don't just support and protect her. You do something far bigger. You empower that girl to achieve more in her life for herself and for others. You change the attitudes of whole communities. You join a global movement."

Find out more about #1000Girls here