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Women And Girls In USA To Connect With Those In Developing Countries

The poverty-fighting group CARE and its partners have announced four unique commitments that will help connect women and girls in the U.S. to women and girls in poor countries. The commitments were announced Friday at the Clinton Global Initiative, in New York.

CARE's partners include Gap Inc, General Mills, Girl Scouts of the USA, Seventeen Magazine, the Documentary Group and UPS.

“We have been cooperating with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) for several years and it’s a wonderful platform to bring partners together to think about ways we can each extend the work we do by forming greater partnership,” said Dr. Helene Gayle, the president and Chief Executive Officer of CARE.

Dr. Gayle, who is also the Chair of the presidential advisory council on HIV/AIDS, told VOA that CARE wouldn’t do the work it does without the kinds of partners who come to CGI from corporations, privates sector, government, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

“With our partners we are able to announce four unique commitments that will help further our work around the world.”

She said that for example, the partnership between CARE and General Mills called ‘Join my village’, a collaboration through online activities where people in the USA will have the opportunity to unlock up to US$ 500,000 in donations from General Mills will help CARE in its work to reach women/girls in approximately 75 villages in Malawi in Africa with economic and educational opportunities.

Dr. Gayle said empowerment of women and girls is important to society and crucial in development. “Our mission is to eliminate extreme poverty and we know that the best way to do that is by investing in women and girls. They are the ones that are most affected and bear the brunt of poverty.”

She noted that it has been proven that if you invest in women and girls you can create catalytic change in communities.

“If you educate a woman or provide economic opportunities through loans to start a business or agricultural activities – these investments go beyond just a woman or girl; they go to change families and communities and ultimately make huge changes to nations overall.”

Dr Gayle said it is important for girls/women to get educated about the risks of HIV/AIDS, and to make sure women/girls have the tools they need to keep them safe from the risk of exposure to HIV/AIDS. “They should also be able to have access to services such as treatment for those infected with HIV/AIDS.”

She said that HIV/AIDS is a big problem, “In Africa 60% of new infections occur in women and girls. So, increasingly this is an epidemic that is having a huge impact on women and girls around the world.

It is important that we give them the tools they need to keep safe but also make sure that they have access to medication if they are infected.”

In nearly 70 countries, CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.

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