Today, we join with organizations around the world to celebrate the International Day of the Girl — an annual reminder to stand up and create opportunities for girls.

Here at Hands Offering Hope, we responded to the unique needs of the girls in our programs by building the Women’s Collective, a group of women who raise support and advocate on behalf of girls in Mexico. And this fall, we launched the Women’s Collective mentoring program.

Our female students are matched with professional female Mexican leaders — women who understand the realities of our students and provide them with regular encouragement, support, and advice.

Here is what our student Amelia shared after her first call with her mentor,

“My mentor Teresa and I have so many things in common. We both love to dance, we both love helping others — and I learned that when she was young, she had the same doubts and fears that I have now. Things like: What am I going to do after I’m done with high school? Will I be successful? Will I live up to my expectations? We will talk about all these fears and doubts in our calls — and I know that she is a kind and safe person who I like a lot. I think we are going to be great friends.”

We believe every girl deserves to know she’s not alone, and that she can overcome the obstacles in her path to reach her dreams. This mentorship program provides a monthly checkpoint to help our girls set goals and receive encouragement to reach them.

Thank you for making relationships like the one between Amelia and Teresa possible. And thank you for standing up for our girls.