Vicky Guidetti wrote -
A few years ago I bumped into an old friend who I hadn't seen for more than 15 years. We had a lot to catch up on, but we sat and chatted for hours about her trips to India that began in 2008 with her husband Alfonso, how they had first witnessed the suffering of many children and how they started to get involved in the lives of some of these children. I was blown away by what they had achieved in such a short amount of time and their sheer determination to make this work. There was absolutely no doubt in their minds, it was something that just had to be done.
Regular trips to India since then has only fortified their desire to help, first working with a girl’s home in Kolkata and ultimately establishing Girl2B in early 2012.
Today the Girl2B Foundation, which is a registered charity in New York and works in partnership with The Hope Foundation in Kolkata, aims to empower girls to break the cycle of poverty they were born into.
You see, India is 'the most dangerous place in the world to be born a girl'.
(Please read the following Telegraph article Febuary 1st 2013:
Not only is there abject poverty, but in India many girls are born and immediately named 'the unwanted', they are simply not valued in the same way as boys. It seems incomprehensible in our little world but a huge reality in theirs. Girls are not given the same education, medical treatment or basic choices in life, just because they are girls. If this wasn't bad enough, these girls are often abused, forced to marry at insanely young ages, forced into prostitution, or they are simply 'not wanted' by their families.
Girl2B works like a family, they provide these girls (and some boys) with the resources they need 'to learn, live and grow" and the support system the girls need to reach their full potential. To have a chance at an education, to have somewhere safe to live, to have love and support, gives these girls the chance to fulfill their dreams in life, to have a career, to earn a living, to support themselves and to choose to have a family if they want to. And the best bit of all is that Girl2B gives them the opportunity to ultimately become agents of change themselves in their own society.
Today, Girl2B is caring for 31 girls, from the ages of 10-20. By making a difference in the life of a girl in India you are actually becoming an agent of change for girls everywhere!
Today, Christine and Alfonso are in constant communication with “their girls” and relentlessly finding ways to raise awareness and support for Girl2B.
I visited India myself also in 2008. They say once you go to India it changes you forever. It certainly had a great impact on me, it is compelling and I fell in love with the place and the people. Like most who experience India, I came away wanting to 'do something' myself but never knew how to start or where to begin. Christine and Alfonso gave me this opportunity and have been a great inspiration since.
So, to support Girl2B and these two wonderful friends of mine and to satisfy my desire for swimming for long periods of time in open water (the English Channel was just too far!) I have decided that around 6am on the 21st of September 2013, I will swim across the Long Island Sound. I have roped in some dear friends of mine to help me out, to man the boat that will accompany me to make sure I am not run over by any passing traffic, those who are willing to jump into the water with me or just to give me support along the way; Jason Rudolph, Sergio Sperati, Kiko Giobbio and my 13 year old son Jack Carter. My thanks and my sincerest appreciation goes to them for all their support.
My suggestion would be to donate whatever you can or want to, it will all help and it will all be very significant for the girls. Just to give you an example, investing $50 would give a girl 10 days of school, food, housing, safety, health, travel, vocational training, psychological and career counselling, job placement and family support.
But please don't feel you need to limit yourself!!! Your donation will go directly to The Girl2B Foundation and will have a direct impact on the lives of these girls.
I thank you in advance if you decide to join me in this challenge. And if you know of any friends or family that may like to be included, please pass this along to them.
Please check out www.girl2b.com (and don't forget to read the blogs, here you will read about the heart and soul of Girl2B).