Girl Up Is Heading to India… And So Am I!

Child Marriage , Supporters in Action

Today I leave on a trip to India with Girl Up to visit the UN program there supported by Girl Up – and I am so excited! We will be visiting the Anganwadi Center and the Panchayat Bhavan in Udaipur where we will meet adolescent girls benefiting from the program, as well as their parents, community leaders, service providers, government officials, UNFPA representatives, and more. We will also be able to spend time with adolescent girl champions who have taken a stand in their communities to improve education or address gender based violence and child marriage in India.

Personally, I am most excited to spend time with the adolescent girls in the Girl Up-supported program. I’ve been involved with Girl Up for nearly five years, and I can’t wait to see the impact of our campaign on the girls on the ground. As someone who has been deeply involved in the grassroots side of the campaign, I know I will be extremely inspired by the girls we have all been dedicated to empowering. I am excited to hear their stories, learn about their experiences in the program and gain a greater understanding of the complex issues facing young women in India.

On the flip side, I am also a little nervous to meet the adolescent girls on the ground. I know it will be emotional and frustrating to hear about the unfair situations and discriminations the girls have faced  — especially considering many of them will be the same age or younger than I am. While hearing these stories will likely be difficult, I know I will be so inspired by their courage and determination.

In addition to my concurrent excitement and nervousness, I am so grateful for this incredible opportunity to spend time with the inspiring girls on the ground in India. Wheels up, we’re on our way!

This is a guest blog by Priyanka Jain. Priyanka is a 2011-12 Girl Up Teen Advisor and a senior at Stanford University. At Stanford, she is a 2015 Mayfield Fellow and President of Stanford Women in Business.