Picture this: Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, had been born one of the 600 million girls who live in the developing world. Imagine if his inventive mind -- rather than being given the opportunity to create, flourish, and ultimately change the world -- had been squandered by poor health and inadequate education.It's not a far-fetched scenario.
If Mark had been born a girl in Northern Kenya, for example, rather than a boy in White Plains, New York, he could have been among the millions of young girls (and boys) who each year before their 5th birthday from a preventable illness such as malaria, diarrhea, or pneumonia, or just from Malnutrition.
At the young age of 15, rather than studying computer programming in school, he would likely have been at home helping his family to fetch firewood, retrieve water from unsafe sources, and raise his siblings, or genitally mutilated and MARRIED off to an old man by his parents in exchange of bride price. By 19, he could have had a child of his own, joining the 14 million adolescent girls in the developing world who GIVE BIRTH in a given year (and often die while doing so).
Before the age of 20 -- the age at which Zuckerberg launched Facebook -- he could had 4 children and already have no hopes of a life beyond her husband.
At the age of 29, rather than making global headlines by launching a multibillion dollar IPO for Facebook, chances are he would have become another statistic -- another life, another mind that had never been given a chance to achieve its full potential and impact the world.
It's time to take the message and impact of programs like “100GIRLS IN 100DAYS” global. It's time to give every future Mark Zuckerberg, or Wangari Maathai, or Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the chance to become the leader the world desperately needs them to become. This is why all of us should be proud to join TEAM 100.
It's time to break the status quo. And we all have a responsibility.
Become part of the change right this second,