By: Jill Sheffield; Originally posted on Impatient Optimists
Today, we celebrate the first-ever International Day of the Girl to honor girls around the world and advocate for their rights. Girls and women are the backbone of healthy, productive families, communities, and nations. Their unpaid labor amounts to one-third of global GDP, and they operate the majority of small farms. Simply put, when girls and women survive, the world thrives.
International Day of the Girl is a moment for reflection, to be sure, but I hope it also galvanizes people to take action. Today, Women Deliver is launching Catapult, a new online funding platform that aims to bring resources to organizations around the world that work to improve the health and well-being of girls and women everywhere.
Across the world, organizations are finding their way with limited budgets to advance the lives of girls and women. Funding is out there, yet the roads to access can be hard to navigate. As many as one in five girls and women’s organizations are in danger of closing. More than ever before, we need the world to understand that investing in girls and women is not just the right thing to do but the smart thing to do.
Catapult is the connector we have been looking for—an online funding platform that drives donations from people online to projects and organizations that improve the lives of girls and women. Catapult has the potential to transform the funding landscape by partnering with trusted organizations and ensuring that 100 percent of all funds raised go directly to the projects.
Organizations can to apply to join Catapult and post their projects, and individual donors can then fund the issues that speak to them the most. Today, Catapult features projects from more than 30 countries, including a Mobile Literacy Class, which uses mobile phones and texting to accelerate literacy for Afghan girls and women; Birth Waiting Homes for Women in Sierra Leone, which houses pregnant women in homes close to hospitals to avoid long, dangerous journeys while in labor; and Empowering Youth to Challenge Early Marriage, which helps young people, particularly boys and men, to challenge the underlying attitudes of child marriage.
We have big plans— our goal for Catapult is to build and maintain a sustainable and scalable funding infrastructure. We aim to deliver millions of dollars for girls and women, and at just the right time. Crowdfunding for charity is a growing market, already at $636 million in the United States and increasing by 43 percent each year. Philanthropy is moving online, and we want to make sure that girls and women are not left behind.
I invite you to join us in this exciting, groundbreaking initiative. When we invest in girls and women, everyone wins. So, please power-on, log in, and give to make a difference. Together, we will engage a new generation of online donors to create lasting change for girls and women, one mouse click at a time.
Learn more about how to launch your change for girls and women at www.catapult.org
Twitter: @wecatapult #catapult
Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization bringing together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women.