What in the World will I be doing?
The aim: to visit all 193 countries listed by the United Nations before I turn 24!
This challenge will be completed in aid of two amazing woman’s charities, Womankind Worldwide a charity fighting and helping woman across the world, and Fawcett Society a charity working here in the UK to achieve complete equality.
Why? Why? and Why?
The inequality between genders is an issue that over the years I have become more passionate about. This was especially fired up during the three months I spent volunteering in rural India. Within the village that became my home, I had the honour of working closely with young teenage girls. Before they turn 18, their fathers choose whether they continue with education and get a career, or if they marry. That decision is completely taken from the girls. They get no say.
I met girls who were my age, 19 at the time, married and had 2/3 children. Their husbands were older gentlemen, who yes provided for and cared for the girls, but controlled everything the women did. Seeing young women, of my age, in this situation broke my heart.
As part of our project in the village, we chose to set up a Girls Group. The teenage girls in the village (those that weren’t already married) came and met us twice a week in the community hall – it took a lot of persuasion and a lot of trust building to get the girls fathers to allow them to attend. For the couple of hours the girls were with us each week, they came alive. They dressed up, danced, got creative in painting and drawing and spent massive amounts of time laughing. I will never forget those smiles. Ultimately though, the girls opened up and became comfortable to talk about issues they faced; inequality, sexism, dealing with women’s hygiene, child marriage and having their futures decided for them. The girls ended up teaching me more than I could ever dream of teaching them.
Those girls wanted change. They wanted to be able to make the decisions for themselves, they wanted to write their own paths, be independent and follow their own dreams. However, they felt powerless. This is what struck me the most; the fear. The fear the girls had to stand up, say no, and make a change to their own lives.
The same occurs here in the UK, and more developed countries. Men dominate most of society. You see it in politics and sports for example: only 17% of government ministers globally are women (Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2015) and 0.4% of the total commercial investment in sport goes into women’s sport. (Womens Sport and Fitness Foundation 2014). There is an injustice and inequality here that I believe needs to be smoothed out. I am not putting men down, you are just as strong and full of as much potential, I just want to empower women.
Look at this list. These are the most well travelled people in the world according to Wikipedia. You can also check out TheBestTravelled for even more:
A common factor, is that most of these travellers are men. These men are hugely inspiring and individuals I can only look up to, but where are all the women??
The main goal is not for me to travel the world, but to inspire. I want to inspire other girls not to be afraid of the world, to not let anything or anyone get in their way. Don’t be so afraid of the world that it stops you from achieving your goal or your dream. You are strong, powerful and independent.
This is me being the change I want to see. So why not smash two targets, being one of the first ordinary women to join the list above but also to do it as the youngest person! (James Asquith is the youngest so far, visiting all 193 countries listed by the UN at 24 years of age).
What can you do?
Whilst I do the wandering for the next 3 years, I need your help. This is what you can do:
- Share – Share my movement, my dreams and goals. Please get as many people on board and involved as possible. Share my blog and my GoFundMe page.
- Follow – Keep following and supporting. You can keep up to date here on my blog, follow my twitter or my Instagram.
- Donate – If you can please donate to me here. 100% of the funds raised will be split evenly between the two charities.
- Pray – The least I ask of you is to pray. Pray for my safety, pray for success, pray for inspiration and pray for change.