EACH year, the United Nations recognises the strength, resilience and positive influence of girls across the world through the International Day of the Girl. The day also raises awareness of the obstacles girls face and reinforces their achievements. This year, The Salvation Army’s International Women’s Ministries team and International Social Justice Commission (ISJC) are using the day to bring attention to the positive impact girls can have on God’s creation through the theme Restore: Girls Caring for the Environment.
On Monday 11 October, events will take place across the world to promote issues facing girls. The International Women’s Ministries team, led by Commissioner Rosalie Peddle, plans to engage in a prayer walk around central London. It has also empowered five girls from around the Salvation Army world to share their payers through a resource called ‘Restored’ – available to download from sar.my/restored-prayer-resource – which promotes the reality that ‘girls can change the world’.
The resource explains how the growing climate crisis affects girls disproportionately, explaining: ‘Girls are often the last to eat or be rescued in a crisis. They face greater risks to their health and safety as sanitation systems become compromised and they are burdened with increased domestic labour as resources lessen.’
It encourages people around the world to appreciate the part that girls can and do play in changing the world for the better, saying that, while they are often ‘overlooked as pioneers, entrepreneurs and decision-makers, girls are key to building a sustainable future.’
Using ‘Restored’ as their guide, members of the International Women’s Ministries team and other staff from The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters will walk together through the busy streets of central London, past familiar sights such as Shakespeare’s Globe, the Houses of Parliament and the London Eye, as they take to the streets in an act of prayer and solidarity with women and girls across the world. The route has been chosen for maximum visibility and impact. For each bridge crossed on their way, they will read aloud the prayers in ‘Restored’ and lift up a prayer for girls and young women in The Salvation Army’s five international zones.
International Women’s Ministries team member Lauren Westwood hopes that people around the world will play a part in promoting the Day of the Girl. ‘Feeling inspired?’ she writes. ‘Get involved by celebrating the International Day of the Girl in your local area.’ The opportunities for participation are endless but could include using the ‘Restored’ material for group discussion or in a prayer meeting or prayer walk. Practical responses to caring for the environment could also have a powerful impact, and Lauren suggests ideas such as a community beach clean-up or litter-picking event.
The ISJC is hosting a virtual celebration on YouTube on Sunday 10 October at 8 am (USA Eastern Standard Time. Through this event, girls from around the world will be provided a platform to showcase their talents, using their voice, expressions, and creativity to spread awareness on environmental concerns and share what they are doing to restore the world around them.
Report by IHQ Communications