On Oct. 11 girls will be celebrated across the world, including right here in northeast Winnipeg.
The United Nations has declared Oct. 11 the world’s first International Day of the Girl, and the River East Transcona School Division is recognizing the day with a special celebration.
The event will take place at Chief Peguis Junior High located at 1400 Rothesay St. in North Kildonan beginning at 6 p.m.
It will include a performance by student musicians and a gallery of student art. Pink lemonade will be sold to support the Because I Am a Girl campaign by Plan International, an international development charity working to alleviate child poverty.
I Am a Girl jewelry will be available for sale, and the evening will also include a performance by Winnipeg musician Flo.
Dr. Jan Stewart, the acting associate dean of education at the University of Winnipeg and the former director of the Institute for Children Affected by War, will deliver the keynote speech at 7 p.m.
A number of girls in RETSD have been working for change through the Lighthouse Girls Clubs offered at Valley Gardens and Salisbury Morse Place schools in East Kildonan, and John W. Gunn Middle School in Transcona. The after-school clubs are open to girls in grades 6 to 8.
Girls from each club joined others from around the world to lobby the UN to declare an International Day of the Girl.
Pam Jansen, community programming co-ordinator for youth in RETSD, said the clubs are in their third year and currently have 36 girls involved.
"Our clubs have been a way to empower girls and encourage them to help others. They’re very excited about hosting this event on Oct. 11," Jansen said.
"I think it’s really neat. Our girls clubs were part of that whole process of writing the letters. Some of the girls in our division were part of that process, it’s a small part, but I still think it’s pretty neat."
Kiera Weitkowitz, who was a member last year and is now a volunteer with the club, said it provides a great opportunity for girls to get together.
"I like what Girls Club is about. It is a great experience to learn about how girls in other parts of the world live and how they are treated," said the Grade 9 student from Kildonan-East Collegiate.
Weitkowitz said she’s hoping individuals who attend the event will learn about how they can make a difference.
"I hope that it will spread awareness about the kind of conditions girls live in all over the world," she said.
"You can’t change something if you don’t know that it needs to be changed."