Friday, October 11, 2013

We Stand Up for Girls!

Last February, on one of my first nights of the library project in Gambia with Isatou Ceesay, our colleague got a phone call. His wife was in labor! 

The rush to find a vehicle began. We needed to get her to the clinic ASAP. We hurried and arrived as soon as we could, but it took us so long that she ended up walking 2/3 of the way to the clinic while in labor. 

An amazingly short time later, we welcomed a baby girl into the world. And an even amazingly shorter time after that, Mom and baby rode home with us that night and we bathed the little baby girl by candlelight in the living room.

Isatou Miranda on the night she was born, with her older sister.

One week later, at the naming Ceremony, Isatou and I found out that the baby would be named Isatou Miranda. What an honor!

But these are mostly the joyous parts of the story.

 Since Isatou Miranda isn't old enough to speak for herself yet, we're standing up to tell the harder part of her story for her today, October 11, which is International Day of the Girl.

Isatou Miranda's family is under pressure to submit the baby to a circumcision camp where she will undergo a process called FGM. The way it is performed in rural Gambia, it is extremely hazardous to the immediate and long-term health and wellness of girls. Isatou Ceesay, Isatou Miranda's family, and I are making the pledge to keep her safe and the right to be able to make her own choice when she's grown. We know that this girl will face a lot of adversity in the form of teasing, taunting, and feeling outcast because of the decision not to undergo this practice. But we will be there to support her as she grows old enough to make her own choices for herself and her health.

So, my son and I STAND UP FOR GIRLS! Here's the video we made to show the world that we're joining forces with LitWorld's campaign today. Thank you for sharing Isatou Miranda's story.


Patricia T. said...

Great post today Miranda! I enjoyed hearing your story. I stand with you. Have posted a book reviews about girls wanting an education on my blog Monday and today.

My niece I've told you about wrote an article in the Huffington Post today. Here's the link if you're interest!

Mala may have not won the Nobel Peace Award, but she has grabbed the attention of the world -- and I hope this is a huge shift in consciousness for girls around the world.

Keep up the great work!

laurasalas said...

Love. Love. Love.

patientdreamer said...

Lovely post. I'm with you on this one. "Stand up for Girls" Go You!
When is your next trip back there?

Anonymous said...

Great post, Miranda! Thank you for raising awareness about this important issue. International Day of the Girl should be 24/7/365.

Hannah Holt said...

Wonderful post. Thanks for bringing awareness! I stand up for girls, too!

Miranda Paul said...

Thank you, everyone, for watching the video and sharing this important story. The issue at hand is one that I feel strongly about changing and informing others about. I really appreciate your support!

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