Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Rekha from India: Everyday A Girl #EDAG

By Manjima Misra





This is the story of Rekha Biswas for #EverydayAGirl, as shared by Manjima Misra via UN Online Volunteers.






This is Rekha Biswas, aged 48, who lives in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India.






She is a handloom weaver who makes couches out of jute and bamboo. It is almost like a mini cottage industry, which is the main source of her income and she devotes maximum of her time to this work.





After her weaving work in the daytime is completed, she goes to fetch water and has to go through the daily hassles and fights to collect water as there is not sufficient availability of groundwater through pumping.




She works as a domestic servant to supplement her income in the evening. Her works involves washing utensils and sweeping the floor.




At the end of the day, she cooks for the family and finishes off with her household chores. 









The story of Everyday a Girl, tagged #EDAG, is a glance into the lives of ordinary women through a series of poignant photo stories. These series of images will visually express the roles, challenges, activities and duties that females in diverse communities face in their daily lives.

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a volunteer-run NGO registered in Zambia, implemented EDAG in order to place a strong emphasis on positively redefining the role of females in our society. This campaign highlights that gender equality and equity, woman empowerment, and safety for the girls is key to the world’s socio-economic development.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Anastasia from Romania: Everyday A Girl #EDAG

By Moraru Anastasia 




This is the story of Moraru Anastasia for #EverydayAGirl, as shared via UN Online Volunteers.






Being a girl can be harder than it seems, as from time to time, doors may be suddenly closed in front of you. You are expected to do the impossible and when you try to prove you can, you are told it's still not good enough. You can hardly oppose to what you've been conditioned to do. Can you use force? Is there any point in talking to walls?


I've never been the girl waiting for them to fall. I'm Anastasia and I break them down myself. 




I believe that the access to education is the only way to break walls down and to earn yourself a voice. Thus I make time for reading. My backpack is always full of books to share and recommend to everybody.





Even so, no matter how much we desire to be educated, school isn't always the place to speak your mind or, in any case, be yourself. Rare are the occasions when girls are allowed to wear what they want, when they aren't the victims of female malice and male mocking, when they aren't judged on how they look, speak, think. Envy, stereotypes and bad manners are deep rooted in our society.






Once you go back to the real world, you may find the old criticism, sometimes from your parents, that you are not the daughter they dreamed of or from teen lovers, for ruining your expectations. When you are a girl who has grown up reading and not playing so much, it will take a time to start relating to others. You might find yourself alone, waiting for somebody to come and talk to you. You are too shy to feel accepted. You will sit like me in this photo and wonder where did it all go wrong. It didn't. It's just part of growing up. People are changing and you change with them. It's okay to be quiet, as long as you realise the only way to be happy is to be contented with solitude from time to time. 




I believe in God and I pray whenever I feel very alone or very happy. Therefore, going to church is an important part of my life. However, the role of women in church has been long debated. Being raised as a Christian, I have my own doubts about getting involved in the debate. Not only tradition is important, but also making it adjust to the world we live in. You have to be moderate or it won't work the right way. However, I believe that I was born in this religion for a purpose and it was not just a circumstance. Maybe it could help me find a meaning.






Now I am getting ready to pack. For a person who wants a great future, this is a place where nobody should ever return if not convinced to make a change. The corrupted politics brought the town into bankruptcy and education is estimated to be at some of the lowest points in our country. No more jobs and there has been announced there will be no more heat next winter. How can anybody leave a town like this? There is no surprise that the most of us are going away. 





This is me as everybody can see me. Optimistic and cheerful, enjoying the best parts of my life. All in all, I am a 17 year old girl with big dreams in a small town on the banks of the Danube River, Romania. And I haven't lost my hope yet.

I might not know what I'll be doing in the following years, but it doesn't scare me. I am ready to try something new as ever since I was a child I moved with my parents in different cities for new beginnings. This might be my future life too. Always striving for more. That's why my motto is now 'Never Ever Settle'.

Anyway, I believe that I can write my own personal future and that I am capable of making a move in the right direction both for myself and the places I'll be going.






The story of Everyday a Girl, tagged #EDAG, is a glance into the lives of ordinary women through a series of poignant photo stories. These series of images will visually express the roles, challenges, activities and duties that females in diverse communities face in their daily lives.

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a volunteer-run NGO registered in Zambia, implemented EDAG in order to place a strong emphasis on positively redefining the role of females in our society. This campaign highlights that gender equality and equity, woman empowerment, and safety for the girls is key to the world’s socio-economic development.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Zhao from China: Everyday A Girl #EDAG

By Yuhan Zou Amanda




This is the story of Zhao Danni for #EverydayAGirl, as shared by Yuhan Zou Amanda via UN Online Volunteers.





Zhao Danni is a 22-year-old Chinese girl. She study at Liverpool University and came back to hometown Chongqing to spend her summer vacation.





She found an internship in a business company which is located in the center of Chongqing. 




To avoid being late, she have to get up at 6:30am to catch the subway. After that, she will sit down on the same chair in the office room for more than 7 hours.




 After work, she will spend 30 minutes during the rush hours in the subway. 




Sometimes, if the tasks are really tough she has to take them back home to finish. While the others are eating hotpot, she is still listening to the online meeting. 





“Leave one piece of beef to me.” She says and continues to take some notes.







The story of Everyday a Girl, tagged #EDAG, is a glance into the lives of ordinary women through a series of poignant photo stories. These series of images will visually express the roles, challenges, activities and duties that females in diverse communities face in their daily lives.

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a volunteer-run NGO registered in Zambia, implemented EDAG in order to place a strong emphasis on positively redefining the role of females in our society. This campaign highlights that gender equality and equity, woman empowerment, and safety for the girls is key to the world’s socio-economic development.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Andrea from Mexico: Everyday A Girl #EDAG

By Ijeoma Ukasoanya




This is the story of Andrea for #EverydayAGirl, as shared by Ijeoma Ukasoanya via UN Online Volunteers.


Andrea is a 27 year old Mexican,  on a short visit to Nsukka, a suburb of Enugu State, Nigeria. She is loving, cheerful and selfless. She has an unwavering passion and love for the black race.




Here, Andrea is with my brother (Ijeoma's) Harry. Harry decides to take Andrea on a tour round Nsukka.






Andrea is at the Adada River- a popular river in Nsukka, known for it's beautiful and serene nature. Andrea loves the cool nature of the river.





Andrea then goes to the fruit Market in Nsukka. Her love for children won't let her get her hands off the Vendor's baby.



The female students of Queens Secondary School- an only girls secondary school in Nsukka, can't get enough of Andrea's company.




This is me (Ijeoma) and Andrea trying to make dinner. She is exhausted after a long day's tour.






She insists on helping out in the kitchen.




I made sure we took a cute picture together after dinner had been served.










The story of Everyday a Girl, tagged #EDAG, is a glance into the lives of ordinary women through a series of poignant photo stories. These series of images will visually express the roles, challenges, activities and duties that females in diverse communities face in their daily lives.

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a volunteer-run NGO registered in Zambia, implemented EDAG in order to place a strong emphasis on positively redefining the role of females in our society. This campaign highlights that gender equality and equity, woman empowerment, and safety for the girls is key to the world’s socio-economic development.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Anjala from India: Everyday A Girl #EDAG

By Dishi Khandelwal




This is Anjala story for #EverydayAGirl, as shared by Dishi Khandelwal via UN Online Volunteers.

Anjala is 24 years old. She works as a house help in Mumbai, India in order to support her family.  


Due to a permanent eye impairment, finding employment was difficult for Anjala.


Her family includes her father, mother, and two sisters - who got married with her help and support. With the money she earns every month, she sends to her ailing parents in West Bengal, India. Since she didn’t receive education during her childhood, her means of earning is restricted to house work.



Anjala loves watering plants. She finds it to be a soothing activity.


Her day begins at 8:00 am. She starts by watering the plants. She finds this activity soothing, and hence makes sure to start her day with it. When she sees the house she works in is looking beautiful and filled with flora, she feels a sense of accomplishment, as the plants look bright and fresh, because of her. She takes pride in doing her job.


Anjala and her employer working together.


This is the woman Anjala works for. She is a kind and generous woman. She makes sure that all the house work doesn’t fall on Anjala's shoulders alone, and regularly helps her with washing the utensils, clothes, and cooking food. 

Anjala has learned and improved her cooking skills because of her. And now, Anjala’s cooking is preferred by everyone in the family. She makes delicious pasta, Chinese food, noodles, burgers, and Indian sweets. She says, she has been learning one thing or the other every day in her life because of her. She treats Anjala as her own.


Anjala carefully preparing stew.


Due to permanent impairment in her right eye, Anjala was denied employment as a house help in several houses. The employers were afraid she might damage something due to her inability to see properly. Now, with her current employer, she makes sure that she concentrates more, so that she doesn’t damage anything. Her employer has described her as an extremely smart woman, since she is a quick learner and works efficiently, any job, small or big.


Anjala laughing with a friend who is now family to her.


This is her friend, who also works as house helps in Mumbai. She’s her family in Mumbai. Whenever Anjala starts to miss her family, or gets lonely, she finds comfort in her. She has made Anjala forget her woes with her altruism. She makes Anjala's life easier with just her presence. 

They make sure to meet every day and discuss their daily lives. They together go sometimes to eat Chinese food, which they enjoy very much. She is an integral part of her life now.






The story of Everyday a Girl, tagged #EDAG, is a glance into the lives of ordinary women through a series of poignant photo stories. These series of images will visually express the roles, challenges, activities and duties that females in diverse communities face in their daily lives.

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a volunteer-run NGO registered in Zambia, implemented EDAG in order to place a strong emphasis on positively redefining the role of females in our society. This campaign highlights that gender equality and equity, woman empowerment, and safety for the girls is key to the world’s socio-economic development.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Halima from Senegal - Everyday A Girl #EDAG

By Ndey Yassin, Gambia



This is Halima Jarjue's story for #EverydayAGirl, as shared by Ndey Yassin via UN Volunteers. 

Halima lives with her aunt. She used to live in Cassamance, a town near Senegal, West Africa. She lost both of her parents due to the war that happened in Cassamance. Her dad’s sister took her in and brought her to Gambia to live with her. 

Halima is 23 years old, and very hardworking.

Her aunt is a cleaner in one of the GSM companies in The Gambia. She has three children and they all live together with Halima. She said she enjoys school and wants to be a doctor in the future.

Although she was taken many classes back, she believes she is doing well in school. She doesn’t want to be a maid forever that is why she is going to school. She is exceptionally tired when she goes to school but she said she has no choice, but to try and stay alert and learn.


Halima Sworks as a maid to use her earnings to pay for her school fees.
Every day she wakes up early and goes to work.
She cooks food everyday for her boss.

When she goes home from school, she helps her aunt cook dinner and then she goes to bed, sometimes without eating because of exhaustion. Her grades were very bad at first, because she sometimes doesn’t do her homework because she is very tired and sometimes there is no light at their home and her aunt doesn’t want her lighting candles for she believes it is not safe, she might forget to blow it off and sleep.

Halima takes a quick nap after chores because she has to go for afternoon classes after work.

Her bosses are very nice to her and sometimes pay her more than agreed for when she needs to pay for exam fees or to buy books. She is in junior school, year 9.

Before napping, Halima cleans the dirty pots and washes the clothes.

She makes sure the clothes are very clean.


Once refreshed from her nap, she gets up to check if the clothes have dried.


She gently removes the clothes from the clothing rail.

After doing all her daily household work, Halima rushes to go home. She has to change and go to her evening classes.


Halima wants to be a doctor one day. She is working as a maid to fund her school fees.



The story of Everyday a Girl, tagged #EDAG, is a glance into the lives of ordinary women through a series of poignant photo stories. These series of images will visually express the roles, challenges, activities and duties that females in diverse communities face in their daily lives.

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a volunteer-run NGO registered in Zambia, implemented EDAG in order to place a strong emphasis on positively redefining the role of females in our society. This campaign highlights that gender equality and equity, woman empowerment, and safety for the girls is key to the world’s socio-economic development.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Everyday A Girl #EDAG


By Hadassah Louis



Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a girl in another part of the world? To live like them, eat like them, and put on the cloak of womanhood as dictated by their society.

The story of Everyday a Girl, tagged #EDAG, is a glance into the lives of ordinary women through a series of poignant photo stories. These series of images will visually express the roles, challenges, activities and duties that females in diverse communities face in their daily lives.

SAFIGI Outreach Foundation Ltd, a youth-led NGO registered in Zambia, implemented EDAG in order to place a strong emphasis on positively redefining the role of females in our society. This campaign highlights that gender equality and equity, woman empowerment, and safety for the girls is key to the world’s socio-economic development.

The women in Zambia’s society have their own unique story to tell. During the three years SAFIGI has been active in Zambia, we have encountered stories of girls that reflect a national view of the state of the marginalized girls in the Southern African country. In Zambia, just 35.4% of girls attend secondary school. And in this margin, 54% had reported sexual violence or harassment from a male peer or teacher. [Cornell University.2012]

SAFIGIs Alumni Photographer, Thandiwe Mumba, went on an assignment in Chipata, Zambia.  She asked the rural girls ‘why they are in a rush to get pregnant?’ Their response is that they have nothing better to do, since most of them have dropped out of school due to lack of support. Teenage pregnancy is the leading cause of death for young women aged 15 to 19 years old worldwide. [Daily Mail Zambia. 2015]


Alumni Photographer for SAFIGI talks to young girls about the dangers of early marriage.  Photo Credit: Thandiwe Mumba 

She also met Grace, a 17 year old girl.  Grace is a single mother to a 2 year old girl. She stays with her mother in Chipata. Her father died 4 years ago and so she dropped out of school in 8th grade.

Grace dropped out of school in 8th grade. She now has a 2 year old daughter.     Photo Credit: Thandiwe Mumba


2 in 5 Zambian girls is married by 18 years old. [UNFPA. 2016.] The story of Precious Chanda, 19 years old, got married at the age of 15 in Kapiri, Zambia. She is the only surviving member of her family and thus was forced into an early marriage due to lack of support from her relatives and lack of accommodation. Her intention is to go back to school after dropping out in 11th grade.  The story was contributed by SAFIGIs Activist, Busiku Handema.

Precious got married at 15 to escape economic hardship. She has a son. Photo credit: Busiku Handema.


The problem is more serious for the girls in peri-urban and rural areas. As seen in the picture taken by Alumni SAFIGI Public Relations Manager, Ethel Chabu, young girls return home after fetching water for house consumption. In these areas, a young girl travels long distances in search of clean drinking water; a time that could be used to study.

Access to clean water is limited, so girls travel long distances to fetch water. Photo Credit: Ethel Chabu


From the latter stories, it is evident that a broken family system plagued by poverty, illiteracy, disease and death, is causing social ills to the marginalized girls who have nowhere to go. Though this is not every girl’s life experience in Zambia, as we will see later in the photo series, these stories represent the many marginalized who have the potential to better their lives and contribute to the economy – given equal opportunity and a safe environment to thrive. SAFIGI will advocate their stories, and through our different workshops, provide an opportunity for the girl child to learn more about Safety.


(Face hidden to conceal identity). A girl in Ndola who does not go to school.  Photo Credit: Ethel Chabu


At SAFIGI, Safety is classified into two; internal safety being peace of mind, heart, emotions; external safety being protection of the body, other person, and the environment. We believe Safety Education can lead to self-actualization that contributes to overall development regardless of gender or socio-economic status. You can download the Safety Education Lesson plans here or on our website; www.safetyfirstforgirls.org

The EDAG project will bring together volunteers from across the globe to speak with one voice in support of empowerment of females irrespective of economic, religious, cultural or ethnic background. The UN Online Volunteers platform provided an opportunity for online volunteers worldwide to contribute to this project.

To get involved, contact us and to apply to be an online volunteer click here.