Today I’ve actually had one of those days on my “sabbatical” that I always imagined, when I was working, that I’d have when I wasn’t: I went to the gym and met a friend for coffee this morning, I read a magazine, I had a lovely lunch with my husband … and I then spent the afternoon baking brownies and other goodies in my kitchen.
In the seven weeks since I finished gainful employment, I can count the number of days like today on the fingers of one thumb, so it’s been pleasing to finally achieve the Nirvana of a tranquil and domesticated day. My house smells of chocolate and vanilla and lavender polish; I’ve spent no time at all on either a job hunting website or fiddling with my CV. Instead, I’ve been preparing to host a “Girl’s Night In” event tomorrow night, when around fifteen great women (friends, neighbours, colleagues, contacts) will arrive and join me for dinner, wine and conversation.
But this is no ordinary dinner party: everyone will be making a donation of between £10 and £15 per head. I’m donating the food and wine and every penny raised tomorrow night will be gifted to Plan International’s “Because I am a Girl” campaign, which works to ensure that girls in some of the worlds’ poorest countries (such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Bangladesh) are able to finish school.
Launched in 2007 by Plan UK, the campaign aims to improve the lives of girls throughout the developing world, many of whom are denied the right to an education, healthcare and a career.
This is a campaign about which I first read an article last month, on the plane on my way to California and I decided there and then, mid-Atlantic, to join in and be part of the solution in my own small, brownie-baking, way.
“There is plenty of evidence that girls face greater disadvantage and discrimination in many parts of the world. For example, it’s estimated that, globally, 7.4 million more girls than boys don’t get a primary school education, and 70% of those in absolute poverty are female. So it’s good news that Plan has launched its “Because I am a Girl” campaign to draw attention to these abuses and what can be done to overcome them.”
The links that I’ve provided above in the text will take you to the relevant parts of the Plan website and, if you want to learn more, you can download their annual report or take the “Five Friends Challenge” and send e-cards to your friends to encourage them to pledge their support for girls’ rights worldwide.
The link to my fundraising page is here; with your help, we can help millions of girls out of poverty and towards a safer and brighter future.