About A Girl

A year ago, I was preparing for a trip to India to tell stories of World Vision’s aid work there. I met a lot of people, I saw a lot of things and one girl stayed in my mind.  I don’t even know her name.

I saw this girl on the day I visited a rag picking slum in Delhi. What I saw that day was devastating. Our visit caused a lot of excitement: people peeked out of the concrete rooms; plastic chairs were dragged out into the open hurriedly; children peered into my camera for just-one-more picture.



Amidst the noise there was this girl.  I couldn’t pick her age but my guess is somewhere between 15 and 18. It was like she was frozen within the hustle around her.  A stunning sari wrapped elegantly around her in an imaginary swirl. Her face was so very beautiful, yet I could see a deep echo of sadness there.  This girl held herself with a quiet dignity, though there was a weight about her, as if there were many burdens on her shoulders.  I wondered about her then. I wonder still. Her face is etched in my mind and I would love to know the story of the quiet girl in the red and green sari. I would ask her what her hopes and dreams are.




My girls

That brings me to my own three girls and my hopes and dreams for them. My dream for them is simple: I long to see them shine with strength, confidence and joy. I desire them to grow surrounded by people who value them; to give them as many opportunities as I can so they can be all they can be; to foster strength, and compassion and true beauty. All this for my girls.

my girls

Girl Rising

As a mother of three daughters, the welfare of girls around the world is especially close to my heart. The face of the girl quiet girl in the red and green sari came to me very strongly last week because I recognised her, not her in person, but I saw this girl embodied in the stories told from around the world.  Friday night saw me in the city with a friend for the World Vision Premiere of the Girl Rising documentary. Both my friend and I were incredibly moved by this beautifully shot and inspiring film, starring narrators  and .

The film tells the stories of nine girls from around the world who face hardships and injustices like poverty, natural disaster, arranged marriage and slavery, yet these girls overcome through education, fostering change.   The film brings to light sobering facts like 66 million girls around the world are not in school and 14 million girls, that’s 38,000 TODAY, will be married under 18 years of age. Countering statistics show education leads to opportunity, leads to change.  Did you know a child born to a literate mother is 50% more likely to live past the age of 5 and a girl with one year extra education can earn up to 20% more as adult?

The thrust of the message is educating girls, is a key to change. BIG change.

If you have daughters, see Girl Rising. If you have sons, see Girl Rising.

girl rising

Image credit: 10 x 10 films

Note: The documentary does have adult themes but may be suitable for older children with parental guidance (if I have the opportunity, I will watch it with my two older girls, 10 and 12 ).

About a girl

This post is about a girl.  A girl I saw in India. It’s about my girls. It’s about girls around the world. It’s about girls rising — empowering them — so they can be all they can be.  I’ve seen with my own eyes the change girls and women can make in a community. I believe it.  Be part of the #girlrising movement by sharing on social media, sponsoring a child, sharing your own dreams with Dreamshare, donating to Girl Rising or apply to get the film screened in your school or community.

Girls aren’t the problem, they are the problem solvers — Girl Rising

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. says

    As a mum of two girls, your post has given me goosebumps. It has also made me realise that I don’t do enough outside of my own world. Thankyou for the inspiring post Kelly.

  2. says

    I also had the most amazing opportunity to see Girl Rising on Friday night in Sydney. To say it touched my life so very deeply is an under statement.
    I don’t have girls, but I am raising sons who need to understand Girls are just important as boys. Girls need education, and need to be able to make choices.
    And like you Kelly, I want to re-see the movie with my boys, they need to see through their own eyes how incredible other Dreamers can be, and to see how fortunate they are to be born in our lucky country. I think this movie is part of something that is going to be very big.

  3. says

    I am so sad I missed going to see Girl Rising… it sounds so inspiring, and I’d love my kids to see it at some stage.
    Such amazing photos Kelly and a really thoughtful post.

  4. says

    You took me back to another girl in India who was around 8 years old, living in an orphanage and already carried the weight of the world on her shoulders. Its for girls like her that I do what I do. My two girls, girls in India, Africa, everywhere deserve someone to speak up for them and to celebrate who they are and everything that they are called to be! Love this post!

  5. says

    Such beautiful pictures of your time in india. It’s a country I’ve always wanted to visit, one day I’ll get there.

    Girl Rising had a big impact on me too. It was such a wonderfully told story of girls fighting for their rights to things I often take for granted. It definitely made me grateful for the things I’m fortunate to have experienced in my life.

    • says

      Thanks for stopping by Kellie. Great name by the way 😉 Yes, it does give you perspective, doesn’t it. I have a daughter who is 13…and to think of her getting married off at this age is horrifying.

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