Victoria Justice Releases Song to Raise Awareness about the Challenges Girls Face in Developing Countries
Did you know that many girls around the world don't get to go to school? Did you know that some girls in developing countries are forced to get married before they turn 15? Learning about these challenges girls face is upsetting, but there are ways to help.
Last year, recording artist and actress Victoria Justice traveled to Guatemala with Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation. Guatemala is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Latin America. The country is still experiencing the impact of 36 years of civil conflict and is also one of the poorest places in the Western hemisphere. Justice learned from local United Nations leaders that many Guatemalan girls have the same struggles as girls in other countries. Many girls experience violence, are treated unfairly, and do not get to go to school.
Justice also spent some time at “Opening Opportunities,” an after-school program that focuses on empowering indigenous girls. Many of the girls in the program help their families by working in the fields, which keeps them out of school. A few girls go through a one-year intensive leadership training and become mentors to other girls in the program.
This trip to Guatemala inspired Justice to write a song, “Girl Up,” that raises awareness about the situations girls face around the world. The song and video, available online for free, are a gift to fans thanking them for meeting Justice's GirlRaiser Challenge, which raised more than $20,000 for the Girl Up campaign.
The Girl Up campaign supports United Nations programs that provide girls with the tools they need to go to school, see a doctor, stay safe, and become leaders.
Victoria Justice with girls in Guatemala at a program that keeps them safe from violence
Since the campaign’s launch in 2010, Justice has used her role as a champion to motivate teens to get involved and take action for girls in developing countries.
"The great response to my GirlRaiser Challenge shows that there are so many girls in the United States just like me who are ready to stand up for other girls around the world," Justice said. "Through the Girl Up campaign, we can make sure these girls are educated, healthy, and safe. I am proud to be a Girl Up Champion and to use my voice to give back."
Victoria Justice visits girls at a school in Guatemala
To download the song "Girl Up" and watch the music video, visit: Grlup.org/get-involved/new-video-victoria-justice.html