This is My Story, Pass it On.

The high school students of the broadcast journalism program at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, CT, created beautiful videos in honor of Stand Up for Girls and the International Day. Here is one of their brilliant videos, titled, "This Is My Story." Click here to watch more on the LitWorld YouTube channel.

We are deeply grateful to the girls for sharing their brilliant creations and leading the Stand Up for Girls movement in their community. We are also grateful to Oanh-Nhi Nguyen, their extraordinary teacher and teaching assistant, Caleb Foss. Oanh-Nhi is also the Founder and Executive Director of L.E.A.D., a youth mentorship and violence prevention program in Pennsylvania.

The Kumasi Girls LitClubs Lead A Community Wide Celebration for Girls

The LitClubs of Kumasi Ghana run in partnership with the Millennium Cities Initiative held celebrations across the city. 

Members of South Suntreso Junior High Girls LitClub had fun writing and then acting out a sketch entitled “The Genius Woman in the Society."

After coming together to celebrate the Day of the Girl within their own LitClub and school, the girls of South Suntreso went for a march around their community to spread the message that the power of literacy and the right to tell her stories belongs to every girl.

The LitClub girls of State Girls Junior High dressed up to represent all 10 Regions of Ghana as a way of advocating for all Women and Girls on the Day of the Girl.

Meanwhile, LitClub members from Opoku Ware School in Kumasi, Ghana read letters to the Member of Parliament of their constituency to inform them about some of the issues they face as girls and what can be done to improve their lives.

The girls of the Opoku Ware LitClub also shared stories with each other about the women and girls who have inspired and impacted their lives. Here we learned about a girl who attends school and sells sachet water in her community to support her family and herself.

--Submitted by Sheila Effah-Kyei, Kumasi Regional Coordinator

Spreading Kindness Through Kisumu on October 11th

As we were planning our Golden Girls Foundation Stand Up for Girls celebration, we had a group discussion during a LitClub meeting to ask the girls how they wanted to mark this special day. The girls wanted to collect clothes, shoes, sanitary supplies and other articles of clothing to distribute to other girls in the community who do not have access to these items. After this plan was in place, the LitClubs run by the Golden Girls Foundation set to work. We placed collection boxes around the community and labelled them, “Stand Up Goody Drop Off Points."

On October 11th, the Golden Girls Foundation joined the rest of the world in standing up for girls. We started the day checking in and talking with the LitClub girls. We had some guest visitors – female leaders from our community – visit to lead mentorship sessions with the girls. At noon we all stood up, joining and adding to the worldwide thunderclap for the women who positively influence our lives.

Then it was time to distribute the clothing and household items we had been collecting at our drop off points around the community. When we launched this initiative, we weren’t sure how many donations we would receive. We were so excited to see that the boxes were actually overflowing!

After distributing the Stand Up goodies we reconvened for snacks and games. There were no age limits for the games, we were joined by the girls’ mothers as well as the boys from our community. I wish to earnestly thank all those who joined us for the day’s events, and all who generously placed items in our collection boxes. This movement of kindness and commitment to the girls of our community and our world will carry on long after October 11th.

--Submitted by Golda, Kisumu Regional Coordinator

The Stand Up for Girls Movement On the Ground in New York City

On October 11th, 200 middle school and high school students came together at Riverside Church in New York City to use their own stories, and the stories of the women who inspire them, to stand up for every girl's right to learn to read and write and tell her story.



We were joined by three incredible artists and spoken word poets: spiritchild, Angel Nafis and Casey Rocheteau.

At noon we started a rainstorm, raising our voices and standing up in unison for a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world that listens to all girls and values their right to learn all they need to know to create a future of their choice - and to use their personal narrative to plan for and pave the way to all of her goals.

The stories we shared together inspired us. We are full of deep and profound gratitude for the brilliant young leaders that filled the room; for our dedicated, generous and kind volunteers, interns, guest artists, board members and dear friends and LitWorld family members. Thank you for being with us to Stand Up for girls and speak out for the transformational power of story. We are each other's strength. For more photos from our Stand Up from Girls celebration and international celebrations, click here.

--Photography by Marielle Solan

Stand Up for Girls TODAY: We Are Each Other's Strength

 Today is the International Day of the Girl. Wherever you are, rally the community that surrounds you to Stand Up for every girl's right to share and to speak her story. LitWorld's Executive Director, Pam Allyn, shares the urgency of spreading literacy to all girls in her latest blog for the Huffington Post. 

"Today is the International Day of the Girl. I want you to stand up at noon for every girl's right to tell her story. It sounds like a simple thing -- to stand up at noon. The action itself may be simple, but the statement and the intention behind the action is profound.

Literacy transforms lives and levels the playing field for girls. No matter where in the world she lives, every girl is born with the most powerful tool imaginable to write her own future: her stories.

My organization, LitWorld, runs Girls LitClubs around the world, so that girls everywhere can belong to a safe community of stories. With the guidance of trusted mentors and friends, and access to books and technology, LitClubs show girls how to become the author of their own lives."

Click here to read the full piece on the Huffington Post.

Starting a Thunderclap: Add Your Voice to the #standup4girls Movement

We need 100 supporters to start a #standup4girls social media thunderclap.

What is Thunderclap? It is an app that allows organizations and their supporters to share a message on social media (Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr) in unison at the same time, automatically.

That means that if you pledge your support, the Thunderclap app will automatially post our #standup4girls message at 12pm EST on the October 11th International Day of the Girl.

How do you sign up to add your support?

It's easy.

1. Click here to visit our #standup4girls page on the Thunderclap website:

2. Choose which of your social media sites - Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr - that you'd like to use to share the message and click the button that says "Add My Support." 

3. A "Thunderclap Preview" window will pop up. Click the "Add My Support."

4. A window will open asking you to authorize the Thunderclap app for your Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr account. This window will also ask you to log in to your account in order to complete authorization.

5. You're done! The #standup4girls message will be posted along with our other supporters at 12pm EST on October 11th. Thank you for joining us to speak out and Stand UP for girls' stories.

I Stand Up for Lorna

I stand up for my mother, Lorna Osiason.

At 37, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was told by her doctor that she would never collect social security. (Now I'm a nurse, and can't even imagine saying that to a patient!) She never let her illness define her. She remained the loving, joyful, creative, upbeat woman I remember.

--Lauren Blum, LitWorld Board Member

If you would like to honor the story of a loved one on the Stand Up for Girls blog, deposit her story in the story bank or send an email to

I Stand Up for Lesley

Lesley loves kittens and never wants to go to sleep without them. Last night she crawled into their sleeping basket vowing to sleep next to them in their cozy bed.with them in their sleeping basket. Lesley is the youngest of my three children. I stand up for her because she gives me a reason to wake up every morning and share my life with the girls of LitClubs. She reminds me that life is a blessing that we should treasure. I chose to be around children for my life's work because children remind me of the precious little things in life.

--Submitted by Phoebe-darya Bosse, LitWorld's Kisumu Regional Coordinator

If you would like to honor a woman or girl who has impacted your life, submit her story to the LitWorld Story Bank or email

I Stand Up for Hadly

The girl who inspires me is my daughter Hadly. Years ago, when she was 8 years old she knew how to ride a bike, but was attempting to learn how to make skid marks in our driveway. It was not easy for her as it is often the case when she is learning any new skill, they just don't come easy for her. But she was determined, and as parents we were watching with jitters, praying that she would not get too hurt. We knew it was important to her, and that she was willing to take the chance. So we watched fall after fall, and after each she just got up, wiped her hands and knees, said "I'm fine" and tried again and again.  I am so moved by her spirit of confidence, that she felt so capable.  This image is ingrained in my memory as a reminder of her resilience when faced with any challenge. And for that I love her more deeply. Her indomitable spirit and strong sense of self inspire me daily.  I stand up for Hadly.

--Jeff DaPuzzo, Litworld Board Member

To honor a loved one on the Stand Up for Girls Blog, visit the LitWorld Story Bank to deposit her story.

Preparing to Stand Up for Girls in Kisumu

The girls of LitWorld's Kisumu, Kenya LitClubs run by the Golden Girls Foundation had a wonderful time creating visual stories of their lives with digital cameras. Golda, our extraordinary LitClub leader says, "The photo essay session was very interesting and we all had a really great time. I must confess that we had never ever thought the camera would be so captivating for the girls." Here are some behind the scenes action shots!


On October 11th we'll stand up together so that all girls can look through the viewfinder and see hope and possibility.

Share a Story to Spread the Stand Up for Girls Movement

The world is listening, so raise your voice for every girl's right to tell her story. Here are actions that you can take today on Facebook, Twitter and your other social networking sites to tell your friends and followers about the #standup4girls campaign.

1. Share the Stand Up for Girls 2013 campaign video. 

2. Use the Stand Up for Girls Facebook banner as your cover photo. (Right-click on the image to save it to your computer or simply download it from the LitWorld Facebook page.)

3. Write a post telling the world who you stand up for - the women and girls who inspire you every day - and use the tags #standup4girls and #dayofthegirl to add your message to the global story.

Here are some sample posts:

I will #standup4girls with LitWorld on 10.11.13 #dayofthegirl

Every girl has the right to tell her story. I will #standup4girls on the #dayofthegirl

I stand up for my little sister Caitlin. #standup4girls #dayofthegirl

My teacher Mrs. Hember  read aloud to me every day. Because of her reading gifts I am a strong reader today. #standup4girls #dayofthegirl

My Aunt Lu inspires me to laugh, especially when I'm having a bad day. #standup4girls #dayofthegirl

My grandmother was the first woman in our family to go to college. #standup4girls #dayofthegirl.

Now it's your turn. Who do you stand up for?


Building the Stand Up for Girls Movement in Kenya

LitWorld's Regional Coordinator in Kisumu, Kenya, Phoebe Bosse, is rallying the entire community to stand up for girls on October 11th. She is travelling around the county to enroll women occupying a variety of professions in the movement for educational rights, and is sharing their stories with the girls of the LitClubs that run in partnership with the Millennium Cities Initiative. Rally your community to stand up for every girls right to tell her stories and to self-directed future.

Spread the #standup4girls Movement!

October 11 is the International Day of the Girl. Lead the #standup4girls movement on social media and in your own community. Here's how:

1. Click here to download the Stand Up for Girls sign:

2. Write the name of the woman or girl whose story has inspired you and take a photo holding your sign.

3. Post the picture on your social media sites and to the LitWorld Facebook page to tell the world who you are standing up for using the hashtag #standup4girls.

4. Spread the movement even wider by inviting your friends, family and followers to take a photo with their own sign.

5. Stand Up at 12 o'clock on the International Day of the Girl! When you rise on 10.11.13 you'll be standing up with thousands of other girls, boys, women and men around the world. 

Stand Up for Girls Celebrated at Thirteen Public Schools in Kumasi, Ghana

Stand Up for Girls celebrations spread across thirteen schools in Kumasi, Ghana on October 11, the first annual International Day of the Girl. In all the schools, the girls, along with other pupils and staff members stood up at noon. Each school also personalized their celebration special by organizing their own unique activities.

State Experimental Schools 1 & 2 had a joint celebration, with  some of the girls dressed as women who they consider fierce, fearless and free. The girls dressed as President Sirleaf of Liberia, Professor Ewurama Addy (a biochemist), Barrister Oye Lithur (a child rights activist in Ghana), and Dr. Joyce Aryee (a renowned educator). Each girl took 5 minutes to tell us about themselves, and what they Stand Up for. The activity was interspersed with traditional drumming and dancing.

At Akosa Junior High School, the girls wrote letters to members of parliament to call attention to gender issues that matter to them. They also signed the Stand Up for Girls Pledge and listened to guest speakers from the Metro Education Office, who encouraged the girls to pay serious attention to their education, because that is the road to becoming fierce, fearless and free.

The Bantama Presby school celebrated Stand Up for Girls with poetry and a letter writing activity. The Adiebeba Schools 1 & 2 also used poetry in their celebrations and created drawings of powerful women. 

The Santase School held a women's party, and the Danyame, South Suntreso and State Girls School signed the Pledge, along with art and writing activities.

Global Alliance for Development Foundation Organizes Stand Up for Girls Stakeholders Meeting

To Stand Up for Girls on the first International Day of the Girl, the Global Alliance for Development Foundation (GADeF) organized a stakeholders meeting in Asutifi, where the first LitWorld LitClub was formed, to discuss the status of girls' education in the region.

Research conducted by the Directorate of Ghana Education Service in the District revealed that some students who registered to write 2012 examinations did not write their exams due to early pregnancy. Among the 30 candidates in Brong Ahafo reported pregnant while writing the exams, 19 were from Asutifi district (out of 22 Districts). Madam Kyei Abrafi, the District Girl Child Education Officer (DGEO) at the Ghana Education Service reported that from 2009 to 2011, thirty girls left school due to pregnancy.

In addition, the percentage of girls completing the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) has dropped from 77.4 % in 2006 to 52% in 2012 (Ghana Education Service, Asutifi District, BECE Results Analysis, 1998-2012). This figure indicates how girls' education has been negatively affected by illegal mining activity, which has been more thoroughly traced since 2006.

The Stand up for Girls  stakeholders meeting has led to stakeholders pledge to support the education of girls in the area and to fight against teenage pregnancy and early marriage. 

Stakeholders present were the Ghana Education Service Girl Child Coordinator, the District Public Health Nurse, the Chairman of the District Parents Teachers Association (PTA), the Linguist of the Kenyasi 1 Traditional Authority, a queen mother of Kenyasi 2 Traditional Authority, and Headmasters of selected schools.

The members of the GADeF team present were: Emmanuel Marfo (Programs Director), Elvis Agyei (Finance officer), Elvis Okofo Dartey (Environmental Officer), Edward Asare (IT and Web Assistant), and intern Lucy Adu Gyamfi.

--Submitted by Emmanuel Marfo, Programs Director at the Global Alliance for Development Foundation

The Rukmini Foundation Standing Up for Girls in Pharping, Nepal

It was an honor to be part of the great Stand Up for Girls movement. The reach of LitWorld is truly inspiring. The girls in Nepal had a great time creating posters and sharing their message, and were very passionate about what they stood up for.

Our foundation's program manager, Nabin discussed the Stand Up For Girls movement with the students and asked the girls to brainstorm ideas.

Each student thought about what they believed in and what they thought was lacking in society.

The girls created posters with their message in both Nepali and English.

Stand Up for Girls on 10.11.12 coincided with our special Anniversary Event, where our Honorary Chairwoman Laxmi Aryal handed out the eBook readers to the students!

We will go forward and continue to make this a better world for girls through education every day.

--Submitted by our outstanding Stand Up for Girls Partners, The Rukmini Foundation. To learn more about their inspiring work, visit

BookSource Stands Up for Girls


Booksource is happy to once again take part in Stand Up for Girls. This year we invited all of our divisions to join us and had 110 participants! One of our owners, Neil Jaffe, even stood up for girls at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany!

We support LitWorld’s mission to cultivate literacy skills in the world’s most vulnerable children and do what we can to get books into the hands of children around the world.

We had a great time gathering employees at several locations around St. Louis and Steeleville, MO. We shared facts about girls, literacy and education from around the world.

The women of Booksource (55% of our staff) are fortunate to not only be literate, but to also have careers in literacy! It was an honor to stand in support of our sisters worldwide.

Booksource has been a family-owned company since their founding in 1974, consistently cultivating a corporate culture that places a strong emphasis on caring and respect for their extended family, employees, customers and partners. Booksource provides the education market with the largest selection of new and classic titles and classroom collections. They currently have over 30,000 titles in their catalog representing more than 150 publishers, and their staff has the expertise to ensure that their customers get the right books based on their needs. Booksource has the books students want to read, and the books educators want their students to read. Learn more at

The George W. Bush Presidential Center Stands Up for Girls

We are honored to welcome guest blogger Charity Wallace, Director of the Women’s Initiative at the Bush Institute, and Senior Advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush.

Women and girls are critical to peace and prosperity. Countries that promote girls’ education and women’s opportunity are proven to be more stable and prosperous. When girls are educated, they delay marriage, have fewer children, raise healthier, more educated families, and have opportunities to contribute in the workforce and earn an income. The simple ability to read can change the course of woman’s life and has a profound impact on her future and her country’s stability.

Unfortunately, there are places in the world where women and girls are persecuted and prevented from pursuing their education.  Just today, the Washington Post published an op-ed written by Mrs. Laura Bush that condemns the brutal attack by the Taliban on a fourteen year old Pakistani girl whose only crime was the desire to go to school.

Mrs. Laura Bush chairs the Women’s Initiative at The George W. Bush Institute, which recognizes the dramatic effects that literacy, education, economic opportunity and the inclusion of women have on communities, and understands that progress in these areas can transform societies. Through the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative, we address these fundamental issues and invest in women so that they can catalyze change.

The Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program, the signature program of the Women’s Initiative, is a leadership program that equips women to become effective leaders and improve society.  Research shows that the best indicator of a women’s success is her network. With a strong network, a woman is better able to prosper in her field and multiply her influence. A woman taps into the resources and expertise of those within her diverse network, expanding its impact. Recognizing the significance of the network, the Women’s Initiative Fellowship classes are comprised of approximately twenty women from one country representing the six most influential sectors of society including education, health, business, politics, law and media. This structure ensures that the impact in the respective community is substantial, concentrated and powerful.

The Women’s Initiative Fellowship combines coursework, hands-on skill building, sharing of best-practice models, dedicated mentors, and the development of a strong network to ensure that fellows return home prepared to create significant and lasting change in their country.  The Fellowship partners with organizations like LitWorld to enhance the fellows learning and introduce them to new programs, which could be replicated in their home country.

The inaugural class of Women’s Initiative Fellows has made great strides since the program launched in February 2012.  Since the beginning of the program, several Fellows have started their own businesses, one Fellow used her expertise in fundraising to raise over $32million for her charity, the Egyptian National Cancer Institute, another Fellow uses her voice and her photography skills for a campaign to stop sexual harassment, and one Fellow started her own online media organization called Bokra news to ensure uncensored news is available to Egyptian citizens.

Though the Fellows did not know each other before the program, since returning to Egypt, many have worked together, using their unique skills and talents, to further causes that benefit women, children, and Egyptian society.  The power of the network is evident in their success. The remarkable stories of the courageous Egyptian women that make up the inaugural class of Women’s Initiative Fellows can be found here.

Supporting women and girls is one of the most important efforts of our generation and the Bush Institute’s Women’s Initiative will continue to stand up for girls and women around the world.

The International School of Dakar Stands Up for Girls

The second grade girls at the International School of Dakar in Senegal are coming together this month to Stand Up for Girls! On October 11, 2012, we will ask the whole elementary school to wear orange and stand up at noon in solidarity with girls all over the world. To raise awareness, we will be posting signs around our school with global facts about girls, literacy, and education. In preparation for the big day, we’ve been talking to each other and other girls and women in our lives about what it means to be a powerful girl, and even writing letters to world leaders encouraging them to Stand Up with us! Read on to see what we have to say, and stay posted for photos of the big day!

Words that describe a Powerful Girl or Woman:

Proud of herself
Does not give up
Fearless, fierce, free
“I’m the super hero in town!”
“I speak up!”


Lana's Story

I Stand Up for new students at my school because I used to be one! As a new student who didn’t know any English, I felt lost and lonely in my new school. Some of my classmates were patient and welcoming, and I eventually made lots of friends. Now, I try to make friends with new students, make them feel comfortable in our school, help them learn to read and write English, and introduce them to more friends!





Maeve interviews her mom about what it means to be a Powerful Girl or Woman:

Education opens your mind and changes your future. A powerful girl is interested in learning. She asks questions and listens to people’s answers. She wants to improve the world!


Mary explains why she will Stand Up for Girls' Soccer:

Second grade girls Stand Up for girls’ soccer because we learned how to play the game last year and fell in love with it. Unfortunately, many days during recess we can’t even find a ball to play with or field space because the boys have beaten us to it. We stand up for girls who want to play sports at recess!






Letters to world leaders:

Dear President Obama,

I am standing up for girls, and I think it is very important. Some girls and women don’t even have one book, so please think about helping.




Dear President Obama,

We are standing up for girls on October 11, 2012. I want to tell you about poor women and girls. It is important because they can’t learn anything because they have a lot of things to do and they don’t have money or homes. I want to help them and give them a good life.



Susannah is a LitWorld friend currently teaching in Dakar, Senegal. We thank her and all the girls at the International School of Dakar for sharing their special Stand Up for Girls activities and stories, and for modeling what it means to be Fierce, Fearless, and Free!