Girls' Health in Girls' Hands Initiative Launched
Women's Fund Launches Girls' Health in Girls' Hands Countywide Collaborative
$160,000 Invested to Empower Girls to Make Positive Change
The CFMC’s Women’s Fund and its funding partners, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation and the Claire Giannini Fund, are investing $160,000 to launch the first year of the Girls’ Health in Girls’ Hands (GHGH) initiative. The goal is to increase girls’ access to health information and resources, and to help them become catalysts for positive changes in their schools and communities.
The newly formed countywide collaborative will help girls ages 11-18 gain improved access to health information, leadership development training, and opportunities to influence their community through girl-led advocacy. Approximately 300 girls will participate in health education support groups and leadership training, and more than 3,000 youth will participate in girl-led education and action projects. Two countywide health summits are also planned. The first, on November 17, launched the GHGH program and the second, in the Spring of 2013, will be organized by the participating GHGH girls. One participant noted, “I feel inspired to strive forward and make a difference. I will follow my dreams.”
The Women’s Fund awarded $90,000 in grants in 2012 to six nonprofit organizations, who helped the Women’s Fund design the GHGH plan. Each organization has received a $15,000 grant to collaborate to share resources, enhance their existing programs and bring together girls from across their 32 sites. The organization partners are: Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County, Girls Inc. of the Central Coast, Monterey County Health Department/POSTPONE Program, Monterey County Rape Crisis Center, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, and YWCA Monterey County.
The groups are working together through the GHGH collaboration to expand and augment their existing girl-centered programs and to actualize the 2009 Girls’ Health Action Plan. The plan was the result of the Women’s Fund’s girls’ health research project involving teams of girls throughout Monterey County. The goal over the next three years is an integrated girl-centered program model and leadership structure that is sustainable in the long term.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation and Claire Giannini Fund have joined with Women’s Fund donors to contribute $160,000 to the project. Additionally, the Baskin Foundation, the Peggy Downes Baskin Fund for Women, a CFMC donor advised fund, and the Claire Giannini Fund have pledged another $150,000 combined for year two, leading the way for other co-investors to join this multi-year effort to support girls’ leadership. “The investment of our philanthropic partners strengthens the momentum of these efforts immeasurably,” said Julie Drezner, VP Grants and Programs. “We are extremely grateful for their support,“ she continued.
GHGH began in 2009 as an initiative of the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County that aims to give local girls a voice in shaping their future and an agenda for change. The first step was a girl-led action research project to identify health information, support and services needed by pre-teen and teen girls. 57 girls in 5 teams throughout Monterey County sought input from more than 1,200 girls through surveys, interviews and focus groups. They developed a Girls’ Health Action Plan, which sets out insightful and far-reaching recommendations for needed information, services and policy change. The Women’s Fund of the CFMC continued the momentum with a grant to Unity Care Group in 2011 to develop a three-year implementation plan and in 2012 investing $160,000 and securing partner funding to form the GHGH collaborative to empower girls to create social change.
“As a result of the collaborative, it’s our hope that the girls, participating agencies and the community will each benefit from increased empowerment, organizational effectiveness and more policies and practices that support girls’ health and wellbeing,” said Julie Drezner, CFMC Vice President of Grants and Programs.
The Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) has granted over $100 million to nonprofits working towards healthy, safe, vibrant communities. In 2011 alone the CFMC awarded more than $7 million in grants. The mission of the Community Foundation is to inspire philanthropy and be a catalyst for strengthening communities throughout Monterey County. For information, please call 831.375.9712, visit www.cfmco.org/womensfund or stay connected at www.facebook.com/cfmco or www.facebook.com/ghghmonterey.