‘She Can’ Appeal from Action Aid

She Can Appeal Action AidLast week, I, like millions of others around the country, sat glued to the television watching the programme which showed Davina McCall’s battle against the elements, cycling 500 miles for charity. Her stamina, attitude and determination was inspiring. Davina worried she couldn’t do it, worried she would let people down, but she showed us all.

“She can do it!” – me screaming at the TV.

Davina’s motivation to keep going was a girl she had once met some years ago. The girl lived on a dumping ground in Mumbasa and spent the day chipping away to make bags full of stones to sell so that she could earn enough money for her family. All that young girl wanted was an education so she could be a doctor.

This girl’s life has changed – for the better, thank goodness. But I’m going to tell you a story about another girl. And she needs your help. Her life is so hard, so scary and so full of hazards and risks, it’s really difficult to imagine. No one’s life should have to consist of what I am about to tell you:

Mwanahamisi Mariamu lives on a dumpsite outside Mombasa in Kenya. She scavenges to collect bottles, bottle tops and scrap metal. ‘I don’t know how old I am but maybe 16,’ she says.

Mwanahamisi lives in constant fear of rape. ‘The men around here drink a lot and it scares me,’ explains Mwanahamisi. ‘At night they roam around looking for girls to rape. It happens to many girls, the men are strong and can be very violent so the girls have to go with the men whether they want to or not.’ Can you imagine living with that level of fear? She adds: ‘At night I try and stay in the house with my mother and siblings so that they don’t know I am here.’

Poverty has meant Mwanahamisi has had to stop her education: ‘I don’t go to school now and I only reached nursery level but had to leave because there was no money. All I really want is to go to school so that I [can] become a teacher. I want to learn things and to be able to teach others things that I know.”

Sadly, Mwanhamisi’s story, is not unusual. In the Mwakirunge dumpsite in Kenya right now, lots more young women are trapped. The dumpsite is an unsafe environment. It’s poorly lit, with mounds of burning and toxic waste. The young women are forced to make enough money to eat by foraging – regardless of any serious environmental health hazards.

She Can Appeal Action AidIn many parts of the world, if you are born poor and female you don’t have much of a chance – and 70 per cent of the poorest people in the world are female.

Too often, young women are trapped in a cycle of poverty and they can’t realise their dreams. The violence and inequality they face means they remain poor and vulnerable – simply because they are women. This is simply not acceptable.

Through Action Aid, you and I can do something to help change that. Mwanhamisi wants to be a teacher. With your help, she can.

Action Aid has launched their amazing ‘She Can’ Appeal.

Donating to this appeal will help young women like Mwanhamisi break free from poverty. For every £1 you donate to the appeal, the government will match your donation. That’s pretty cool.

Here’s how your money can rescue girls like Mwanhamisi from the rubbish dump and show them people really do care:

£25 could get a girl off the rubbish dump in Mombasa where she works, and into school.
Read more at http://www.actionaid.org.uk/she-can#Ox42tb3oOkRvxwIH.99

£50 could help a girl stay safe and learn how to protect herself from danger in an after-school club.
Read more at http://www.actionaid.org.uk/she-can#Ox42tb3oOkRvxwIH.99

Please share this post as far and wide as you can. Let’s make a difference.

Follow the appeal on Twitter – @ActionAidUK #shecan


24 thoughts on “‘She Can’ Appeal from Action Aid

  1. Stories like these are just horrific. I feel guilty watching from the comfort of my home, on a plasma screen TV. It’s quite shocking to think that this is one girl’s experience in the world, right now. Well done for raising awareness, so important.
    suzanne3childrenandit recently posted..Overcoming HurdlesMy Profile

    • We take so much for granted Suzanne, but we can help to make her life and others, better. And what’s fab is that the government is doubling any donation received! Yay!

  2. Thank you for highlighting this campaign. It is awful to think that as we go about our very comfortable lives that others elsewhere in the world have to battle so hard to survive. I’m getting OH to share this at work.

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