Reshaping the Future, One Girl Icon at a Time

This past Wednesday, the Milaan office was bustling with activity. Having received nearly 2,000 applications from aspiring Girl Icons throughout Uttar Pradesh, the team was faced with the exciting challenge of selecting the most promising girl leaders to be awarded the Girl Icon Fellowship in October.

To support the selection process, the team brought together a committee of representatives from NGOs and schools working in education and girls’ leadership. The selection committee members came from Milaan, Oxfam India, Mahila Samakhaya, Breakthrough, DASTAK, Project KHEL, AALI, and Navayuga Radiance S.S. School. Over the course of two days, the 15 committee members diligently reviewed and scored each application using a detailed scoring process.

After reviewing nearly 2,000 applications from 12 to 18-year-old girls across Uttar Pradesh, the team was thrilled to see the diversity of passions and commitment to social change expressed in the submissions. Girls wrote about their interests in using traditional dance, law and policy reform, education, or sports to create positive changes in their communities. The committee was impressed to hear from many girls coming from rural areas about how they wanted to eliminate child marriage and improve health and sanitation in their towns. Applications were received from girls from rural and urban communities, and many shared their stories of rising above economic challenges, disabilities or coming from a marginalised religion or caste to pursue their education.

As the group celebrated the conclusion of the first round of the selection process, we are thankful for their collaboration and support, and we are looking forward to moving on to the subsequent rounds of the selection process. The Girl Icons will be selected on a variety of parameters including their involvement in the community, their creative ideas for social change, their academic dedication and grades, and their leadership qualities.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we continue to share the next rounds of the selection process, examine barriers to educating girls with partners, and announce the exceptional Girl Icon winners on October 18th!

Starting at the end of September, Milaan will be rolling out a campaign to #CelebrateGirls and address the barriers to girls’ education, utilising social media. Please contact [email protected] for further details or to engage and participate in this campaign.

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