Today I feature a campaign established by two vibrant young women in South Africa. The campaign launches tomorrow. When Boko Haram abducted more than 200 Nigerian girls from their school in April, sisters and co-founders of Leave No Girl Behind International, Haseena and Shameema Patel reacted as expected: with outrage that turned into action.
In North Eastern Nigeria, educating young women is an unusual and courageous step forward. The students and their parents’ dreams for their future were crushed by this violent action. Bubbles Beyond Borders shows the victims and their families that they are not alone; that the global community stands with them, supports their dreams and encourages their vision for their children’s future.
Bubbles Beyond Borders, a global campaign to support the dreams of women around the world, launches on August 16th, 2014.
Now, here are a few questions I put to the founders:
1. What is the Bubbles Beyond Borders campaign about?
The campaign is about supporting the rights and dreams of girls and women worldwide. Individuals, organisations and activists around the world will take to the streets on August 16th, 2014 at 1:00 PM local time to blow bubbles and to pledge action in support of girls and women’s rights and dreams around the world. There is more information on our website, www.bubblesbeyondborders.org
2. What do you hope to achieve through the campaign?
The goal is twofold:
Firstly, raising awareness – and there’s no better way to attract attention throughout the world than a bunch of adults blowing bubbles!! The second purpose is accomplished through each participant pledging an action to support girls and women’s rights and dreams. There are more than 28 campaigns worldwide, and if every participant in every campaign pledges one small action, we can make a world of difference to girls and women worldwide!
3. How can people support the campaign?
People can support the campaign on social media to raise awareness – our Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/bubblesbeyondborders. They can participate in a campaign in their areas on August 16th and even host their own campaigns. Another way for people to participate is through the “Bubbles Beyond Borders Selfie Campaign” – any individual can take a photo holding a placard that reads: “I support # Bubbles Beyond Borders because…” with their own unique reason for supporting the campaign. They can then share this photo to the facebook page, and even on Twitter. On Twitter, we’re using the hashtag: #bubblesbeyondborders.
4. Why do you need support for this campaign?
If we are to make a difference in the world, we have to start with girls and women – the creators of the next generation. Their influence is huge! If we empower every girl we come into contact with, the world will be a more educated place; as a global community, we will become a more prosperous world. Girls and women’s empowerment impacts every sphere of life in a positive way. This campaign is a means of doing that, and standing up for girls and women’s rights and dreams.
5. Who can participate in the campaign?
Absolutely anyone, anywhere! We need as much support as possible!
6. How do people go about hosting their own campaign?
They’d contact us by going to the Bubbles Beyond Borders website, and we would provide them with the information to do this. It’s a simple thing to do – decide what you’d like to do on August 16th for your campaign, get the word out to every person possible, and on the day, have lots of fun while making a difference! Every campaign has its own unique flavour and campaign leaders can make it their own, as long as the basic principle of blowing bubbles and pledging an action is adhered to.
7. What inspired you to start this campaign?
8. What effect will people’s support have on girls and women globally?
On August 16th, we can show girls and women across the globe that they matter; that we as a world are going to take action to support them not just on the day of the campaign, but every day going forward. This campaign shows support for our daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, nieces, mothers and every other girl and woman in our lives.
9. What do you most want to see happen as a result of the campaign?
We want to see an increasing awareness of protecting the rights of girls and women. We want to see many more people worldwide standing up for those rights, and we’d like to see action being taken to support girls and women’s rights and dreams.
10. What difference has it make thus far?
There has been such unity among all the participants, supporters and campaign leaders of Bubbles Beyond Borders – we’re from different countries (more than 10 countries across 5 continents, to be specific!), different cultures and different time zones. But we’ve all united to stand up for a common cause and make a difference for girls and women (and through them for boys and men too). We’ve had messages and emails from all over the world, and there are people participating in the Selfie Campaign and sharing such personal reasons for supporting the campaign – that alone is very special and has already made a difference to everyone who reads the messages. There are so many people who can identify with what participants have said and our united voices give them strength.
11. What about the future? After August 16th 2014, will this campaign continue?
The Bubbles Beyond Borders campaign is only in its first year. Discussing this question among ourselves, the campaign leaders decided that it would be great to do smaller projects together to support girls and women after the campaign. As for the campaign, it is definitely going to be an annual event!
- the right to respect
- the right to an innocent childhood
- the right to an education
- the right to express themselves
- the right to independence
- the right to choose their own partners
- the right to equal pay
- the right to protection under the law
- the right to vote, and participate in government
WHY “BUBBLES BEYOND BORDERS”?
- Bubbles resist gravity.
- Bubbles illustrate the lightness of being in any environment.
- Bubbles float.
- Bubbles are lighter than air.
- Bubbles move with the breeze.
- Bubbles travel across boundaries.
- Bubbles defy description.
- Bubbles express freedom.
- Bubbles connect peoples with a smile.
- Bubbles are simple to create.
- Bubbles are biodegradable, green.
- Bubbles are fun!
WHAT TO DO
We hope that the 16th of August 2014 is the impetus for us to unite as a world and keep supporting the dreams of girls and women everywhere. Bubbles Beyond Borders is an ongoing campaign to bring global change and equal rights for girls and women. If all of us do something, then something will change! Pledge one action in support of girls and women’s rights and dreams.
IDEAS FOR YOUR PLEDGE
- Connect with a girl and mentor her
- Write an empowering letter to a girl
- Donate to a girls or women’s empowerment program
- Start a Girls’ Power Circle in your area
- Participate in the Help-Her-Help-Herself Project
- Have a book drive so that girls who don’t have access to a library can read
- Donate your time to teaching girls to read
- Educate girls in some way
- Donate your time to teaching girls/women some form of self-defence
- Donate your time to counselling girls/women if you’re qualified to do so.
- Buy a book for a girl that will help to empower her and believe in her own potential
HOW TO PLAN YOUR BUBBLES BEYOND BORDERS CAMPAIGN
- Email us for the logo
- Send out a flyer/email your friends, organisation and fellow activists about this
- Buy or make your own bubble solution and bubble blowers
- Decide what your pledge is going to be (as an individual or as an organisation) – if you’d like to, bring a pledge poster with the action you’re going to take or the issue you’d like to change.
- At 1pm, local time, on 16th August 2014, make sure you all meet in a public place and have fun blowing bubbles and explain what you’re doing to all the confused passers-by around you!
- Take lots of photos and post them on the Bubbles Beyond Borders Facebook page. And if you want to share your pledge ideas, feel free to do so.
- Commit to your pledge.