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Meet Our International Teams:

Teams are coming from Indonesia, Nigeria, Israel, Kenya, South Africa, India and the United States to get together at the International Girls Summit. Below is some information on each team and each girl team member.

Meet the Team from Indonesia ...

The Indonesian team hails from the Sanggar Anak Alam Indonesia organization in Jogjakarta, one of the areas most severely hit by the recent earthquake. This NGO works to empower urban, low income children by teaching them self-awareness, critical thinking and how to empower themselves and their environment. It works to fight against gender inequity and for children’s rights. At the summit the Indonesia team plans to work on using media to fight discrimination against girls. It plans to use art projects and video to influence youth and parents in the community to realize the issue of discrimination in education. It also hopes to use their media project ‘Halo Ngestiharjo’ to influence government policy.


Indah is 17 and the oldest delegate on her team. She enjoys learning math and English. She sees many problems with Indonesia’s education system, including high cost of tuition, uniforms, textbooks, poor facility conditions and lack of supplies available in her school. She is anxious to learn about the different education conditions of the other teams at the Summit.


Purna is 14 and the youngest delegate on her team. She lives with her parents in a house they helped build with Habitat for Humanity. Purna is excited and nervous to fly to the Summit and see America. At the Summit she hopes to learn about violence against girls, meet new friends, and inform others of issues relating to girls’ education in Indonesia.


Ratri, 16, is described by friends as goofy, athletic, and fun. Her mother is a seamstress and her father is a rice and peanut farmer. At the Summit she wants to set goals and make projects to use in her school to achieve change for the students.


Ella is 15 and one of seven children. Her mother is a writer and her father teaches drama. Ella also enjoys writing, especially poetry, and reading. She is excited to learn about relationships and politics at the Summit. Like other members of her team, she hopes to improve the quality of education in her town.


Pipen is 17 and enjoys reading and drawing comics. She is a drummer in a band with four other girls. Her dream is for every girl to receive an equal education. While at the Summit she wants to learn ways she can influence improvement in her school.

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Meet the Team from Nigeria ...

The Nigerian team is composed of girls from Kano and Enugu, with both the Women Gender Developers group (WOGEND) and the Youth Resource Development Education and Leadership center for Africa (YORDEL). Both groups work with girls in the North and South of Nigeria, from many ethnic and tribal backgrounds between the ages of 5 and 18 through girls clubs and mentoring activities. They strive to end discrimination against girls and develop responsible leaders of the future by fighting against early marriage, abuse, poverty, child labor and trafficking. At the summit they are planning to create a theater program to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS.


Kelechi is 16 and believes that the world can be changed through young girls, and she wants to be part of that vision for the future. She enjoys helping empower other girls in her community to make positive personal decisions and use their talents. She is passionate about upholding human rights. Kelechi is eager to bring lessons home from the summit to help lead future generations of stronger, empowered girls. She enjoys making creative art and eating jollof rice.


Geraldine is dedicated to stopping gender-based discrimination and violence and achieving equal rights. She is looking forward to learning new information and skills at the summit that she can use back in her community to enlighten other girls to the issues and problems of her community and the world. She hopes to help her peers improve their lives and make changes to achieve a better future. She also enjoys reading, singing and traveling.


Chison, despite having lost both parents at a young age, is determines to excel against all odds. The fourteen-year-old would like to become a physician and work to improve the healthcare of girls in Nigeria.


Husna, 13, is determined to work towards improving the deteriorating public school in her Nigerian community. A goal of Husna’s is to establish a women’s training center where women would be empowered through education and vocational training.


Ezah is 13 and from eastern Nigeria. She is determined to “re-write” her own story by committing to getting a good education. Ezah would like to inspire other girls in her community to commit to their education too, and hopes to become a mentor to them.

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Meet the Team from Israel...

The Israel team hails from Nazareth and is composed of members of the Nisan Young Women’s Leaders Group which is made up of both Jewish and Palestinian girls between the ages of 15 and 17. The organization aims to empower and develop the leadership potential of Arab and Jewish young women by training and mentoring 150 such girls each year. Through this empowerment, the group hopes to create a just, equal, and democratic society free of discrimination and subjugation.


Asmaa dreams of growing up in a world where girls and women have the capacity to be equal and to take on leadership roles. She wants to change society’s perception of women as less capable. At the summit she plans to learn as much as she can in order to help others when she returns to her community. Asmaa feels that her parents have provided her with a loving foundation to help her achieve her own dreams and to help others to work toward their own.


Maya feels that the world would be a better place if women were empowered and wants to end gender discrimination. In her own community, she hopes to help achieve equal treatment of women in the army. At the summit she wants to focus on the challenges faced by women who aspire to become leaders. She hopes to learn about other countries and their cultures and to return home better equipped to face these challenges. Maya loves to draw, shop, and spend time with her family and friends.


Lina is committed to improving the situation of girls and women in her community and believes that changing mentalities is the most important challenge. At the summit she hopes to learn about the situation of American women and to discuss perceptions of Israeli Arabs. She thinks that improved understanding of cultural issues will lead to greater tolerance and more shared understanding that will help women worldwide. Lina also hopes to one day become an actress.


Ranin would like to help women by becoming a social worker. She thinks it is important to work to change attitudes toward and among women so they are more valued and able to recognize their own self worth. At the summit she wants to learn about Americans and their traditions. She also hopes to have the opportunity to spend time with girls from other countries sharing mutual challenges and solutions. Ranin loves to help people, listen to music, and eat pizza.


Jumana plans to work to help women better understand their rights and thereby improve their lives and that of their children. She feels that Israeli women have less freedom than American women. At the summit she hopes to learn a great deal from other participants and to be able to bring new information back home to help women in Israel improve their own situation. Jumana loves to spend time with family and friends and considers her mother her role model. Her favorite food is pizza.

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Meet the Team from Kenya...

The Kenya team comes from the Forum for African Women Educationalists in Nairobi, a non-governmental organization from a variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds working with girls between the ages of 7 and 18. Its main goal is to ensure more girls access to schooling and keeping girls in school performing to the best of their ability. The group also works through education and mentoring on the issues of HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, pregnancy and poverty. The team’s goal at the summit is to create awareness on the importance of girls’ education through the establishment of girls clubs where girls can speak out and also creating support from teachers, parents and communities. It plans to involve the summit team in sharing the vision of GIF, creating workshops and seminars on education issues and skills, and composing poems, songs, and skits that help spread their message and possible solutions.


Alice is 15 years old and dreams of living in a world led by women. She specifically wants to eradicate the sexual abuse of girls. At the summit she plans to speak out to raise awareness of girls’ rights and explore with other participants’ solutions to problems. She looks forward to discussing issues with girls from other countries. Alice likes to read, play volleyball, listen to music and play the piano.


Laura is 13 years old and wants to become a banker to assist in women’s economic empowerment. She also wants to open an all-girls’ school to give them a chance for a better future. In her community she focuses on helping girls to know their rights and to stay in school. At the summit she wants to learn more about girls’ education in other countries and to prepare a workplace to implement when she returns home. Laura enjoys sports, particularly swimming and her favorite food is pilau rice.


Nancy is 16 years old and dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon or lawyer. She wants to speak out on behalf of the millions of girls in Kenya about improving their education and fighting for their rights. At the summit she wants to gain confidence in public speaking and advocacy. She also wants to learn more about the issues that prevent girls from attending school. Nancy likes to act, sing, swim and spend time with friends. Her favorite foods are rice, chapattis, and chicken stew.


Mildred is 13 years old and hopes to become a doctor. She thinks a key issue for girls in Kenya is education and would like to help girls whose needs go unmet in her own community At the summit Mildred hopes to learn how to better advocate for girls’ rights and to work with girls from other countries to define actions that need to be taken to improve the lives of girls worldwide. Mildred enjoys reading and dancing and her favorite food is rice.

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Meet the Team from South Africa ...

The South Africa team is from the South African Girl-Child Alliance in Johannesburg. This organization was created to implement the Bejing Platform for Action by empowering girls to promote gender equality. It provides leadership, health and human rights training and programming to fight against violence, HIV/AIDS, and teen pregnancy. The group’s goal for the summit is to help end the issue of gender based violence, specifically the abuse of girls in school. They hope to achieve this goal by influencing the current government policy and increasing enforcement of current laws.



Bukeka is 14 and enjoys reading, dancing, singing, watching television and spending time with family and friends. At school, she participates in song and dance, choir, and walk for life. Her favorite subjects are biology, math, history, accounting and life orientation. Bukeka’s motto is do everything to the fullest and never give up! She strives to empower herself and her friends.


Ayanda is 13 and lives in Midrand. Her hobbies include dancing, reading magazine, riding her bicycle, listening to music, and discussing world issues. Ayanda is interested in tackling such global issues and she aspires to help girls and their families who are living in abject poverty. Ayanda wants to become a physician and help families living with AIDS while still fighting poverty.


Sanwabiso is 17 and aspires to be an architect. She enjoys sports, cultural activities, political issues, and anything conducive to education and her future. Sanwabiso is a mandate driven girl and works hard to get closer to her goals. She is very focused on helping young girls have a better future. Sanwabiso wants to be the president of South Africa. She says “I have come to realize that young girls are facing pregnancy and HIV/AIDS. They do not know their potential and they do not know that they are destined for greatness. I will show them.”


Millet, 17, is from the Limpop Province. She is in the 11 th grade and plays many sports. She is a member of SAGCA’s Girls Education Movement that is based in her community youth. Millet believes in building a foundation to address issues such as poverty, employment and others that affect everyone. She believes that girls should be given the platform to act and empower other girls and the nation.


Odirile is 13 and from Pretoria, the capital of South Africa. She is currently in the 8 th grade. Odirile participates in two community based projects. The first is at the Gift of Love home where she helps the Sisters of Mercy Missionary wash and feed abandoned babies. The second project involves reading to children at a safety house. She also plays an active role in empowerment workshops, along with mentoring girls.

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Meet the Team from India ...

The India team comes from an organization based in Gujarat called Shaishav, meaning childhood, that works to promote a society where all children have the opportunity to be educated and develop to their full potential. With this goal it works with many children from lower socioeconomic communities, often from slums and engaged as child laborers, to end child labor and trafficking, improve health and education and fight child marriage, female feticide and violence. It has set up several Community Education Centers, where child-labor and non-school going children can come regularly every evening to be educated in both practical and motivational subjects to help prepare them to leave work and go to school.

At the summit the India team plans to work to make the law of equal rights for children in India, especially girls, a reality. In the long term it hopes to pressure the government to provide compulsory education for children ages 6-14 and reject the recent amendment that allows marriage at 15 years. In the short term it hopes to increase equal school enrollment of girls in its region, decrease child labor, sexual abuse, and child marriage by increasing awareness in the community and counseling through home visits of girls and parents.


Krishna is 14 years old and dreams of a world where there is no gender discrimination. She wants to help girls who have had few educational opportunities. She believes in the value of girls helping each other. At the summit she hopes to get training in counseling and improve her skills of persuasion in order to be more effective in persuading both girls and their parents of the value of education. Krishna loves to problem solve, help others and use her creative skills. Her favorite food is pani puri.


Heena dreams of a future where all girls have equal opportunities and the chance to attend school. She wants to see an end to child labor so girls can be educated and gain literacy skills. At the summit she expects to learn a great deal from other girls and to return home better prepared to tackle these problems. Henna enjoys cultural programs and working with children and had learned many training techniques from GIF. Her favorite foods are bhel puri, pani puri, and ice cream.


Shachi hopes one day to live in a world where all girls will receive their rights and there will be no sexual violence against girls. She feels the biggest obstacle facing women in her community is receiving education that could help them work together to find solutions to their own problems. She is looking forward to meeting girls from other countries and learning about problems in their communities at the summit and work together to help solve global problems. Shachi enjoys drawing, dancing, traveling, and practicing English.

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Meet the Team from Maryland...

This United States group is from Kensington, Maryland with an organization called School Girls Unite. It works to transnationally to empower girls and women in Africa and America to make education a top priority worldwide. It organizes youth-run entrepreneurial activities to help provide immediate educational opportunities for girls in Mali. At the summit it plans to continue work to increase girls education in Mali by influencing US policies that can help effect such change.


Danielle is 13 years old and has been working for over two years to try to make people aware of girls’ right to education. She enjoys activism because she wants to make a difference in the world. She is very proud to be going to the Girls International Summit. One of her favorite quotes comes from her mentor Wendy Lesko, “If you think you are too small to make a difference, you’ve never been in bed with a mosquito.”


Mira is 14 years old and has been working with School Girls Unite which has given her a new outlook on life. She dreams of helping fix what is wrong with the Earth by helping the children in Mali get an education. She believes if everyone in the US could see what is really important and live a little more simply the world would be a much better place.


Anika is 14 years old and one of the founding members of School Girls Unite. She believes strongly that girls should have the same rights and boys and believes education is very important for success in life. Anika also enjoys reading, writing, making music and hanging out with friends.


Molara is a 9 th grader, native DC resident, and the daughter of a Sri Lankan mother and Nigerian father. She has been extremely active with School Girls Unite since she joined in January2005, attending the Global Campaign for Education Action week 2005, speaking on several TV and radio shows about School Girls Unite.


Joanne is finishing her freshman year of high school and is another of the founding members of School Girls Unite. With this creative group of girls she has worked in skitsand protests to inform the community about the important issues of global education, poverty and hunger. Joanne is also interested in theater, cartoons, comics and she loves to laugh.


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