KidsForShe joins forces with Equality Heals Africa

On Saturday March 11th 2017, the alarm sounded at 7:30. That morning was the KidsForShe videoconference with Equality Heals Africa's kids. A videoconference where we would speak about gender inequality, the importance of gender equality, and how they could join/form a KidsForShe club with their communities.

The previous night, had been a sleepless one where I had twisted, turned, and wondered. I wondered how I could share my passion for gender equality with people so far away. I wondered what I could say in order to impart anything to these people whose lives I knew so little about.  I wondered who I was to talk to people so close to my age about a subject that affected them differently than it did me. I had heard that gender inequality in Uganda afflicted girls in ways I had heard about, but never really imagined. Gender inequality cursed them in many different forms-some similar to those seen in the U.S., but some so different, I shuddered at the very thought. 

I woke up before the alarm sounded and got dressed. I made coffee so that I wouldn't scare the kids with my half closed eyes, and locked the door so that for the next half an hour, it would just be the kids and me. As I waited and waited for the time of the call (which had been moved from 8:00 to 8:45), I tried to keep any feelings of doubt from my mind and I tried to focus on what to say. Then the screen of my computer lit up with the profile picture of Equality Heals Africa's logo, and once I pressed answer, with so many the smiling faces that they filled up the screen. 

Every doubt I had before I picked up vanished as each girl introduced herself to me. They were people who wanted to have a conversation about something I was extremely passionate about. We talked about the definition of gender equality, the dangers of inequality, and about the importance of kids being informed and spreading the message of gender equality. They spoke about how dangerous inequality was because it led to abuse and they asked me all sorts of questions like what school I attended or how KidsForShe got started. We eased into the discussion shared words and eye contact through the camera. It seemed magical that despite the 8 hour time difference, we could all be together and discuss a subject we all valued. Our cultures may be different, but in those thirty minutes, the only thing that mattered was that we were talking about gender equality, a world problem, and how we, as young people could help achieve it. In the twenty nine minutes of our call, it didn't matter that I lived in the U.s. and that they lived in Uganda, we were all communicating about the same issues and about the same solutions.

The biggest gift that I got, was when the kids sang. As their voices vibrated through the speaker of my computer, I felt privileged to be sharing a Saturday morning with these beautiful people. They sang the words "children are the future, let us give them everything" which helped me realize the vitality of gender equality with young people and which emphasized the importance of KidsForShe teaming up with Equality Heals Africa. this partnership could give other little girls the opportunity to live a life that is equally valued to that of a little boy and give them the power to take charge and help make that possible for themselves. 

On Saturday March 11th from around 8:45 to around 9:15, the lives of kids in Uganda and mine touched. I do not know what they did today, or what they had for breakfast the morning we spoke, but I do know that they changed my perspective and I hope I changed theirs. They helped me realize that one does not have to be nearby in order to convey an important message. They  taught me that we do not need to have met before in order to discuss important matters. Finally, they taught me that although we endured gender inequality differently, that it is still a global problem that we need to work on together. I learned a lot and would love to continue working as a team where we can form a strong family with the goal to help end gender inequality. 




How KidsForShe Came To Be

I am Magdalena Del Valle the fifteen year-old founder of KidsForShe. I have been working extremely hard in order to make this organization a reality for quite some time now. 

It all started during a cold day in January, when I was told I would attend a HeForShe event. To me, HeForShe had been some far off fantasy whose existence I had ever fully processed, but when I realized that it was an organization full of people who believed in the same things I did, I wanted leave some sort of impression on the people who worked there. So I brainstormed until the idea of KidsForShe came to me. I wrote one pagers, and fantasized about how I would present my ideas to the then faceless people from the U.N.. However, on the weekend of the event, there was the first and worst snowstorm of 2016 in New York City, and I was unable to attend the event. 

I thought KidsForShe had been cancelled along with the flights from JFK. I decided it had been a bad idea to begin with, and went on with my regular routine of school, swimming, and homework. Until one day in the beginning of march; the 8th to be exact. 

It was international women's day and all I was doing, was sit at home, and watch the amazing events of  U.N. Women unfold from the screen of my computer. I felt inspired, but did not know how to channel my inspiration. Until I remembered the idea that had come to me not three months before. 

KidsForShe was going to save me from and otherwise unproductive International Women's Day. I looked everywhere to find just about anyone I could contact from U.N. Women or HeForShe. Once I did, I e-mailed them until they responded. They passed me from U.N. employee to U.N. employee, until finally, they told me that they liked my idea, but could not endorse it.

Instead of being put down and quitting KidsForShe for the second time, I created this website. I have been busy on twitter and trying to contact anyone with a social media account who might be able to help me spread KidsForShe's message. The site may not be on the radar yet, but I believe that children should have the resource to start clubs and help end gender inequality. 

By Magdalena del Valle


Yesterday, January 21, 2017 millions of men, women and children all over the world went out to the streets and protested. The Women's March was a historic event we should all be grateful to have lived through. It was a demonstration that despite life not going people's way, that they will not be silenced. Some may say that if we are unhappy with the world's situation, we shouldn't take to the streets and just talk about it at home instead, but the millions of people who marched in the streets of D.C., New York, London, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, and many other cities, proved that we can not sit quietly and grumble amongst ourselves. They showed everyone that we cannot be bystanders in a world of bullies. They taught children that despite having different opinions, we all have a voice that deserves to be heard. The Women's March was a sign that in times of need we can all take a stand together. I hope that this will be the first of  many demonstrations to come and that we will continue to work together to end injustice and inequality. 

KidsForShe: Who We Are And What We Do

This site was created by a fifteen year-old girl in New York city who formed a feminism club in her middle school and wanted to expand it so that others could have great, in-depth discussions about gender issues like her. However, the presentations she made were not like the presentations these children would encounter in school. Each slide show presents viewers with unique questions and videos that force the group to state their opinion. Another unique quality KidsForShe’s presentations have is that they do not simply list information so that the members of each club can read it and be done, but they make the children do research about the topics at hand. For example, there is one slideshow about Margaret Thatcher, but instead of listing her birth-date and what she is famous for, it asks the viewers of the presentation question so that they can research her and find out all there is to know. 
The theory behind KidsForShe is that children are the future. They are the leaders of tomorrow, and if they do not know about these issues from the beginning of their lives, then how can we expect them to fix them once they have grown up and developed different thoughts on the matter? Gender inequality is a problem that starts at the root; the upbringing of children. If a boy grows up with an overpowering father and a submissive mother, how can we expect him to end up any different from his parents? Now, if his school had a system that taught him that his parents’ behavior was not the norm, we believe that this child could potentially change for the better. KidsForShe wants to be the change in those children; in the boys who think they can’t cry, and in the girls who think they can’t be CEOs.
We want to impact the young generation’s mind in a way that will end gender inequality as soon as possible. We want schools to open up clubs and use our presentations so that kids can get involved with gender issues. We are KidsForShe, and organization from kids, for kids that pledges to educate children about gender inequality in a way that will inspire them to take action.