More than just a club

 by
Supporters in Action

Girl Up has been more than a club to me. It has shown me a world of a new perspectives, change, and leadership. Being a part of Girl Up has taught me that leadership is not about having people elect you for a certain valuable post, but instead about the impact you can make in people’s lives regardless of your position.

Girl Up has been my hero. It has rescued me from shyness and chased me away from my comfort zone.  I live in Rwanda, and when society is telling me to shrink myself and blend in, Girl Up is telling me to stand up for my dreams and use my voice to raise up others who may be afraid to do so. Through Girl Up, I have been able to train my mind to be flexible enough to productively and efficiently engage with people with different views.

My Girl Up club is not just a club to me — it’s a sisterhood.  I have been mentored and trained by girls my age who are leaders, girls that have sacrificed their time to make a change in their communities.

Through my time in Girl Up I have become a person who no longer tries to match the world’s expectations of me or impress others. Instead, I’m developing into the best version of myself: someone who is confident and believes in her actions. Girl Up has built leadership in our hearts and minds. I discovered that the best debaters, public speakers, and the prefectural body all belong to my Girl up club!

Girl Up has been like a “lab experience” because it offers different activities and workshops that drive my creativity. These activities have given many girls, including myself, the opportunity to discover their talents in many areas which directly give them a way to connect with people and communicate a message.

I am thankful for the change Girl Up has brought in my life. It helped me view the world differently, from a status with no vision to a status with a vision. It helps me run away from intimidation.

Through Girl Up I have discovered that team spirit and network matter a lot in life because it is not easy for the whole world to be changed by one person, but so much simpler for the whole world to be changed by a group of people in one line of connection. This explains the Girl Up motto, “Together we are stronger.”

Lastly, Girl Up has helped me define myself and add titles to my identity, such as a debater, a feminist, a dreamer and a young achiever.

Girl Up has been more than a club to me. Thank you, Girl Up!

This is a guest post written by Ornella. Ornella will be entering her senior year at Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology in Rwanda where she is an active member of the school’s Girl Up club. Ornella is passionate about entrepreneurship, agriculture and public speaking.