This Seems Interesting

A few weeks ago I was doing some research for my freelance blogging gig and I came upon a non-profit organization called 10×10 whose mission intrigued me. Here’s a draft of what I wrote about the NPO:

The Influence of 10×10: Educate Girls, Change the World

In August 2012, Forbes magazine published an article about the five most powerful women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers. The author of the article is Holly Gordon, the executive director and executive producer of the social campaign, 10X10: Educate Girls, Change the World. Her organization and website set an example for others who want to increase social awareness for educating women throughout the world.

About 10X10

According to the website, 10X10 is a social movement that uses many social media channels. It is also a feature film called “Girl Rising” that encourages using “the power of storytelling and the leverage of strategic partnerships to deliver a single message: educating girls in developing nations will change the world.”

10X10’s mission statement is ambitious, but not impossible. It instills hope and inspires action. Holly Gordon firmly believes that “educated girls dramatically improve the well-being of their families, their communities, and their countries.” These girls develop into women who can powerfully impact their societies by helping to change conditions that lead to terrorism and by reducing:

  • poverty
  • child mortality
  • population growth
  • HIV infection rates
  • corruption

Film Influence

Award winning directors and other creative have collaborated to produce “Girl Rising.” 10X10 works with progressive non-profit organizations, celebrities, political leaders, corporations and concerned citizens “to build a global movement to demand equal opportunity for girls.”

Academy Award nominee Richard Robbins directs the film, whichtells the stories of 9 extraordinary girls from 9 countries, written by 9 celebrated writers.” Nine actresses narrate the film: Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Selena Gomez, Freida Pinto, Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Chloe Moretz, Priyanka Chopra and Alicia Keys.

You can watch the full trailer and check for local screenings at the 10X10 website. For additional information you can also visit the film’s website.

Web Influence

Through strong and wide-reaching website hosting, people around the world can access 10X10’s message. Large corporations realize the power of their contribution and are talking about their own influence to further 10X10’s cause. Rural and obscure villages can even use the website to increase their awareness of the potential of their girls.

The organization has a goal of one billion impressions and a million actions from people around the world. This kind of virality will encourage policy changes in various countries worldwide. 10×10 strives to work with policy leaders to impact global institutions and hopefully sway world governments to implement and enforce laws and policies “that ensure every girl has an equal opportunity to fulfill her full potential.”

10×10 works with organizations with a proven reputation for educating girls. In a professional symbiosis, 10X10 and the organizations promote each other. The institutions tell each other’s stories and help to encourage donations for programs “that help girls get into and stay in school.”

In addition to promoting the film, the website has educational videos, a link for making donations, and a blog with regular updates. Readers can also spread the news of 10X10 by email subscribing to updates and by linking to the website on their favorite social media channels.

With rapid and widespread dissemination of 10X10’s goals, Holly Gordon’s vision of educating girls worldwide will come true. If more people become involved and believe that educating girls can change the world, more people will take action. The girls will believe in themselves, take positive action in their communities, and the world will become a better place.

Then last week I received an invitation on facebook to reserve tickets for a possible screening in Provo. I knew it wasn’t a coincidence, as I have wanted to see the film for a few weeks now. In order make the screening happen, at least  100 people have to make reservations. As of this writing, only 14 have reserved tickets.

If you’re in the Provo/Orem area and want to see a film about important global issues, make reservations now. Seriously, you have about 8 hours. It’s for a good cause.

ETA: The Orem screening fell through. We now have 5 days to make the Salt Lake City Screening happen. Do it.

Gearing up

I like my little stack of French books. As I read them, I come across a lot of words I don’t know, but that’s okay. That still happens to me when I read English, too.

Le Livre de Mormon/Les Doctrine et Alliances/La Perle de Grand Prix.  Can I just say right off how literary tenses are just weird? I actually ordered this triple combination for an upcoming trip, where our little branch of 20 people will meet every Sunday for church, probably in the hotel lobby. I needed a complete set of scriptures. So, I also ordered La Sainte Bible, though it isn’t an LDS edition.

L’enfant noir by Camera Laye. Autobiographical; tells of a boy’s life between the village and the city. Going to the Koran school, going to the university and leaving his family and missing his mother.

Bescherelle’s Complete Guide to Conjugating 12,000 French Verbs. This reference book will teach you how to conjugate a bunch of verbs (12,000) based on 82 verb conjugating patterns. Super useful. I use it a lot, and it’s great for learning verb vocabulary. Verbcabulary.

La Château de Ma Mère by Marcel Pagnol. Autobiographical, nostalgic. It’s beautifully written. There’s a lot of childhood joy of the French countryside mixed in with sorrow and sadness that’s so typical of the French.

Antigone by Jean Anouilh. Oh, you know the story. Antigone’s brothers kill themselves over throne succession. One’s buried, the other’s left for the vultures. Antigone pushes for the birdfood brother to be buried, but Creon won’t have it, because he needs to teach the kingdom a lesson. This is a tragedy, and the Chorus has sung from the beginning that Antigone dies at the end. It’s her destiny, so she and some other people die. Resistance/Compliance, tragedy/drama, DeGaulle/Pétain.

Une si longue lettre by Mariama Bâ. Semi-autobiographical. Talks about the heartache of polygamy in African villages. A woman’s husband decides to take another wife after 30 years. Tradition doesn’t mean there won’t be resentment and pain.

Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A really special story. Popular. Read it.

I also have a book of fairy tales, and I ordered another book that I hope will arrive before my trip. I need to read it.

Governments Abroad

Well, now the results are really in. The return of the bogan chin.

And it leaves me thinking about the stability of democracy versus other election-based governments. All it took was two independents shifting their weight toward one party. And the ruling power could shift at any time during the three-year term.

I don’t know about the other governments, you guys. I don’t intend this to sound negative; I just don’t know.

In A Cave

Karl protects Becky.

Oh, no. Everything is shifting… What would Indiana Jones do?

It is definitely too late.

We spent Saturday and Sunday wandering the Blue Mountains. Caving, base jumping, braving the cold in a haunted hotel. These are just a few photos from Saturday’s adventures at Jenolan Caves – Lucas Cave, specifically. There are so many pictures. Not thousands, but enough. When I get back to the States, I’ll try to post more photos and commentary.  But, when I get back to the States, I’ll only have three days before classes start. Please be patient.

Also, this blog had a very surprising number of hits on Saturday, and I wonder if people were searching for Australia’s election results. What fun timing: I got here in the middle of election season, and I am learning more about how this government works. Yay, culture!

P.S. Remember when I got an A in French 102?

The Church Is The Same Everywhere

Especially family wards, even down to the cute little deacon ushers.

And the organist who really looks like Ronald Reagan.

Speaking of, election day is this coming Saturday.

According to some folks, the current prime minister here has a bogan chin.

And voting is mandatory here.

And, I volunteered to read a scriptural passage in Sunday School, somewhere in 2 Chronicles, four verses (6-10), and the classroom was dead silent as they listened to my “accent.” It was fun how it made me extremely self-conscious.

I’m slowly getting used to the language here. I’m picking up on some of the colloquialisms, and that’s great. But during the opening prayer in sacrament meeting, I might have only understood “blessings” and “atonement,” and luckily I could interpret it well enough to know when to say “amen.”

Oh, here’s the morning view from the balcony, which my room has access to:

These clouds produced hail right before church, and they caused power outages at some of the members’ homes:

Also, I’m staying in a shire (county) in northwest Sydney called Baulkham Hills.

And, I’ve done the Tim Tam Slam. Pictures of that will follow eventually. Fun and unique. And I’m still full of food from all the Sunday eating.

I woke up at 3:00am. I’m hoping to be able to go back to sleep in the next hour or so.

And no one’s ever around for gchat. It’s not like I’m using time for being a tourist for the internet. And it’s a reasonable time in the afternoon, stateside. So: where are you?

Having fun, exploring, living life, falling in love, making out?

Any and/or all of these, I hope.

Oh yeah, I have a couple of dates this week.

I’ll take all the help I can get; it’s obvious I need it.