Oscar Nominee, Natalie Portman and International Children's Charity, Free The Children, Celebrate the Power of Girls

TORONTO, ON and Palo Alto, CA, Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ - Today, fashion meets fundraising with the launch of the Power of a Girl, a unique initiative shedding light on the issue of female education in developing nations. Around the globe, more than 60 per cent of the 110 million children out of school are girls. That's why for young women living in poverty, access to education not only opens the door to a brighter future, but also leads to positive change for their families and their communities.

From now until May 1st, the Power of a Girl is encouraging youth between the ages of 13 to 21 in North America and the U.K., to sign up at www.freethechildren.com/girls and raise funds for Kisaruni, Free The Children's new all-girls' secondary school in Kenya. After May 1st, the top five fundraisers/finalists will be chosen and asked to submit an entry about why they think it's important to empower the world's girls through education. The contest winner will be announced June 1, 2011.

In addition to helping send girls to school, the winner will receive the Power of a Girl prize pack which includes:

  • Natalie Portman's Rodarte designer dress from the American Film Institute gala premiere of Black Swan (Image available online at www.freethechildren.com/girls - photo credit: Jordan Strauss, WireImage)
  • The opportunity to travel to Kenya on a Me to We trip during the summer of 2011
  • More great goodies in store!

"With women comprising 70 per cent of the world's poor, investing in the education of girls is one of the best ways to end the cycle of poverty," said Natalie Portman, actor and activist.  "I'm thrilled to be working with Free The Children and excited to see the ways in which youth throughout North America and the U.K. will be able to help send girls to school in Kenya, bringing them one step closer to achieving their dreams."

"We are privileged to be working with such an incredible female role model as Natalie Portman. Not only is she an extraordinary actress but she's an amazing humanitarian," said Craig Kielburger, Founder of Free The Children. "Her involvement with women's rights is sure to inspire young people to get involved and help close the gender gap when it comes to education."

Kisaruni Girls' Secondary School is Free The Children's first all-girls high school in Kenya and opened its doors in January 2011. It currently supports 40 girls from the rural Maasai Mara region of Kenya. 

Free The Children schools like Kisaruni, give young women from different communities the chance to come together and continue learning beyond middle school.  Through the power of education, young women are encouraged to be role models and visionary leaders in their communities, empowering them to create positive change within their society.

To learn more about the Power of a Girl visit www.freethechildren.com/girls.

About Free The Children
Free The Children is the world's largest network of children helping children through education, with more than one million youth involved in innovative education and development programs in 45 countries. Founded in 1995 by international child rights activist Craig Kielburger, Free The Children has a proven track record of success. Through the energy and passion of youth, Free The Children has built more than 650 schools around the world, providing education to over 55,000 children every day. The organization has received the Rights Award from the World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, and has formed successful partnerships with leading school boards and Oprah's Angel Network. For more information please visit www.freethechildren.com.

SOURCE Free the Children




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