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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Girls’ Voices for Change Contest Announces Winners

Public invited to view winning pieces, contribute to fundraising campaign supporting girls’ education

Press Release – SEATTLE (June 29, 2017) – Photos and videos serve as a universal language that spans all nationalities and geographies, uniting people from the most diverse backgrounds. Global charity GreaterGood.org utilized that language in its digital media storytelling contest, Girls’ Voices for Change, to empower girls around the world and help raise funds to support their schooling, while addressing gender disparity in education.

GreaterGood.org today announced its grand prize winners: Marie Sintiago from Bonaire, and Puja Malick and Asha Paul, both from India. The public is invited to view the winning pieces, as well as pieces from all of the contest’s finalists, at GirlsVoicesForChange.org, where they can still directly contribute to the girls’ education funds.

Contest winners were selected in three categories, with three prizes awarded in each. Following are the first place winners in each category:

  • The Big Idea Prize – watch the winning video, “More Girls in Engineering,” by Marie Sintiago
  • Creativity in Video – watch the winning video, “The Beginning,” by Puja Malick
  • Creativity in Photography – view the winning photo series, by Asha Paul

“Too frequently, girls’ voices are not being heard,” said Liz Baker, Executive Director of GreaterGood.org. “The pieces created by the participants in this program show their powerful perspective on the barriers to girls’ education. We are so excited with the diversity of projects the girls produced, addressing challenging issues like gender stereotypes, poverty, parents’ attitudes, harassment, and education quality–all in such a creative way.”

The Big Idea Prize winner, Marie, created a piece that best demonstrated a local solution to gender disparity in education and was awarded $1,000 to fund a community project. The winners in the other two categories each were awarded a $500 educational scholarship. In addition to the prizes awarded to the winners and runners-up in each category, each entrant received a seed scholarship from GreaterGood.org thanks to a generous donation from the Klintworth Family Foundation.

The goal of the Girls’ Voices for Change Contest is to provide an outlet for girls from around the world to have their voices heard through media they created. The initiative invited girls with barriers to their education from eight countries, including Bonaire, Haiti, India, Jordan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Uganda and the United States, to create digital media—both video and photography—demonstrating personal triumphs, solutions to gender disparity, and vision for a more empowered education for girls. With a total of 77 contest entries, 33 semi-finalists, as well as three grand prize winners were selected.

Fundraising for Education

During the contest, the public helped make a difference by voting for their favorite media pieces in the categories of Creativity in Video and Creativity in Video, and donating directly online to each participant’s education fund. Additionally, through Girls’ Voices’ partnership with GreaterGood.com, each vote cast helped fund girls’ education—GreaterGood committed to funding a day of schooling for a girl for every 300 votes the contest received. The public can still help fund the participants’ education by donating to individual finalists at GirlsVoicesForChange.org.

Big Idea Prize

A panel of judges selected a video created by Marie, age 14, from Bonaire, as the Big Idea Prize winner. Her video, “More Girls in Engineering,” demonstrates the limitations her community puts on girls, like making them believe they can’t pursue engineering. Marie’s “big idea” is to partner with the local vocational school and local media to get the word out to young girls so that they can also navigate a career in engineering. She will receive a $1,000 grant to implement her project idea.

Runners-up in the category were Priya from India for her video, “Safety Net,” and Walaa from Jordan for her video, “The Changing Element,” who each received a $250 scholarship.

Creativity in Video

Puja, age 16, from Kolkata, India, won the public vote and a $500 educational scholarship for Creativity in Video for “The Beginning,” in which she invites the world in to show how alcoholism negatively affects girls’ education in her community. She encourages fathers and family members to change their ways to protect their daughters and support them in reaching their goals.

Runners-up in the category were Salu from Nepal for “No Time to Study,” and Cheri from Haiti for “School and Family,” who each received a $250 scholarship.

Creativity in Photography

Asha, age 19, from Kolkata, India, won the public vote and a $500 educational scholarship for Creativity in Photography for her “Girls Are Storytellers” series of photos. Asha shows the world how girls are using digital media as their mouthpiece to express their views and opinions, and dispelling gender stereotypes that are prevalent in the community.

Runners-up in the category were Muyunga from Uganda for “Mushrooms for My Education,” and Divya from India for “Art: The Power to Transform,” who each received a $250 scholarship.

About Girls’ Voices

The Girls’ Voices for Change contest is an expansion of the Girls’ Voices pilot program, which launched in 2016. The signature program from GreaterGood.org included girls from Guatemala, Haiti and Uganda, who created compelling digital media through the program and raised money for their education. Since launching, Girls’ Voices has awarded scholarships to 111 girls from nine countries.

Currently, more than 62 million girls are not in school, and 32 million secondary-aged girls are missing out on their education. This is the direct result of cultural, social, and economic barriers that stand in the way of girls who want to learn. Supporting adolescent girls’ education in particular can have significant effects in transforming not only one girl’s life, but her community’s as well. The Girls’ Voices program hopes to serve as a catalyst for change on this social issue.

About GreaterGood.org

GreaterGood.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works to improve the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. It accomplishes this mission by partnering with charitable organizations and administering programs worldwide that address poverty, promote education and literacy, feed and care for rescued animals in shelters and sanctuaries, and protect wildlife and restore the environment. A suite of internally funded Signature Programs staffed by experts in their respected fields, furthers the mission of Giving Where It Matters.

Over the last 10 years, GreaterGood.org has worked with more than 3,000 charitable partners worldwide and created and operated several Signature Programs including Rescue Rebuild, Rescue Bank, and Girls’ Voices. You can learn more about GreaterGood.org on our website or by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


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