Manual students partner with UN to start new club


Haeli Spears

Vaannila Annadurai (10, MST) recently became involved with the United Nations campaign “Girl Up,” which she will be merging with Manual’s feminist club Power Up.

Lydia Mason (10, MST) heads Power up, which will now be known as Girl Up. With the transition to Girl Up, there will be a shift in focus to the issues of women specifically in developing nations, including the issues of forced child marriage, lack of education, and access to clean water. There are currently 472 Girl Up clubs around the world, according to Annadurai.

“Girl Up is a UN campaign that relies on girls starting clubs all over the world to help girls in developing nations,” Annadurai said. “In order to help these girls, Girl Up clubs educate about the issues girls around the world face, and they fundraise to help provide education, clean water, and other rights to these girls. They also advocate in front of Congress representatives to persuade them to vote for bills that help girls.”

Annadurai first got involved with Girl Up when she heard about it over the summer at a summer program, but she did not look into it until recently, when her friend from the program mentioned doing a fundraiser.

“I decided to learn more about it online, and I realized it’s something I want to do at Manual,” Annadurai said.

Mason got involved with Girl Up when Annadurai approached her about the developing club.

“I had never heard specifically about Girl Up until Vaannila approached me about it a few weeks ago in search of some advice and a potential co-president,” Mason said.

Power Up hopes for Girl Up to be an expansion of the already existing club, rather than a change. According to Mason.

“The only real change is in the name, obviously, and the increase in opportunities we have to impact women and girls,” Mason said. “We are hoping to merge the experience and eager participation of Power Up with the opportunities and United Nations support of Girl Up.”

Girl Up’s first meeting will be held this Friday, Feb. 20 in room YA25 from 2:30 p.m. to four. Manual’s Girl Up is on twitter at @dupontgirlup, and the Girl Up organization is also on Twitter @girlup