What is Girls for the World?
There is a pre-formed idea about who constitutes and promotes change in the world. Serious, intellectual men, pompous politics who decide and define other people's place in the world with a snap of their finger. This image wears out more and more when the same problems always rise: racism, LGBTQ+phobia, sexism, xenophobia, among many other forms of oppression. Each time these violences occur, it is clearer that we have been considering it normal and common. We have gotten used to these violences and we are not allowed to combat it.
We as young people are never encouraged to organize ourselves in favor of social causes. It's minimally curious that we're not included in social organizations that discuss basic education and our constitutional rights, for example. Why can't young people be responsible for movements of change?
In light of that, Isabela Schmidt, 16 years old, saw an opportunity to change this situation. She reflected on how young people can organize themselves and make their importance in social projects equal to their desire to improve the world they live in.
To guarantee that our voices will be heard, we create conversations provided for and by young people, who make it a safe space to express ourselves without fear. Isabela and other young people from all parts of Brazil make up the Garotas Pelo Mundo (translated as Girls for the World or GPM) organization.
Made up of five teams: Health, Economy, Equality, Education and Environment, the project promotes weekly conversations about actions and projects (created by the teams) and agendas present in the daily lives of teenagers who care about making a more plural and inclusive society.
Our meetings are spaces with a support group, where everyone who is interested in knowing the project and participating in it, can soon join our main group. Our discussions are mediated by Isabela, who leads the conversations that often don't reach a consensus, but question and inspire our future projects. We also often meet with adult guests from all kinds of backgrounds, which adds different perspectives of the world and society to our dialogue.
And it is in difficult times that our project grows. In periods of social isolation, we at Girls for the World see the chance to engage other teenagers to think outside their own worlds and to understand how the outside is, how it acts and reacts to these fragile moments, and reflect: how can we reinvent the way social projects are made in this quarantine? How can we build, within our homes, a more inclusive, diverse and youthful future?
We need help answering these questions and we want you to walk this path with us. Transforming the world everywhere we go, making it a more collective and human space. Join us!