Raising the status of women one girl at a time


CTV Ottawa Morning Live

Susanna Manziaris and her sister Linda were interviewed on CTV Morning Live on September 12, 2013. They had a chance to talk about GirlsHelping Girls and partner BodyBijou. You can watch the video on YouTube.

Photo: Sisters Linda Manziaris, founder of BodyBijou, and Susanna Manziaris, founder of GirlsHelpingGirls, in studio at CTV Ottawa.

CHCH Interview

On September 3, 2013, Susanna and sister Linda were interviewed for CHCH News:

“Changing lives one piece of jewelry at a time”

News 24 reported on GirlsHelping Girls on Friday, August 23, 2013:

A family vacation to Disney World or a tropical resort are typically at the top of the destination wish lists for teens hoping for one final summer trip before school starts.

Linda, 13, and Susanna Manziaris, 16, however, would like nothing better than to go back to Kenya.

The sisters travelled to the African country last year as part of a family volunteer mission to help build a school.

It was a trip that changed their lives and spurred the girls to launch BodyBijou.com, an online jewelry store that creates handmade pieces. What's more, they donate 50% of profits to the GirlsHelpingGirls foundation.

“Our trip to Kenya inspired me to take action and help deserving girls reach for a better future. It was a real eye-opened and I could not get the images of the young girls out of my head,” says Susanna.

“I did not care about the lions, elephants and other animals we saw—the highlight was working with blocks and mortar alongside locals to build a school. I did not care how dirty I was or that my hands had blisters, I was totally in the moment.”

The girls have raised $11,580.00 so far and provided nine scholarships in Kenya, South Africa, and Jamaica. They hope to double the number of scholarships by Christmas.

You can read the rest of the article as a PDF.

“It’s a Girl: A Close Look at the Culture of Gendercide”

Havergal College, where GirlsHelpingGirls founder Susanna Manziaris is a Grade 10 student, has supported GHG right from the beginning:

With the help of the Institute at Havergal, Grade 10 student Susanna Manziaris organized and hosted the event as a part of her new initiative called GirlsHelpingGirls. She came across the movie It’s a Girl when searching for films to showcase at the recent HavergalTEDX event, which she co-organized in November 2012. The shocking and sad content of the film made her want to raise awareness of the issue of gendercide in countries like India and China amongst her peers.

The goal of her not-for-profit organization GirlsHelpingGirls is to raise funds to help send girls to school. So far, she has raised enough money for three girls in South Africa to attend a better high school. She hopes that with this elevated educational opportunity, these girls will help themselves, their families and their communities better understand the value of girls and women in society.

You can read the full article on the Havergal College website.

“Giving Back Together: Volunteering as a Family in Kenya”

In the summer of 2012, Susanna Manziaris travelled with her family to Kenya to build a school with Me to We and Free the Children. This trip was one of the experiences that led Susanna to found GirlsHelpingGirls.

The Manziaris family also spent time with the students at Free The Children’s newly built Kisaruni All Girls Secondary School, and Susanna and Linda quickly found common ground as the girls talked about their favourite subjects and shared their hopes for the future. “At Kisaruni, all the students want to pursue university and have real meaningful careers. One girl wanted to be a journalist and travel the world,” said Susanna. “Seeing the girls and connecting [...] and seeing how much Free The Children has made an impact in their lives, offering such a great school to work in,” she knew then that her family had made the right choice to come to the Mara that summer.

There is much more about the trip in the Me to We article.

“Age 16 and Making a Difference”

Thomas J Palumbo is an American teacher with thirty-five years of classroom experience and an author who has written over fifty books, four of which have won national book awards. He had some nice things to say about GirlsHelpingGirls:

Her charity gives help to girls in Africa to obtain an education, receive learning resources, and enhance other tools these girls possess for a chance at a better life. Susanna has sought help from authors and book companies across Canada. Her efforts are very much like the Love of Reading Foundation’s efforts... If you are looking for a cause to support and a place for some of your donation dollars, Susanna could use your help.

Check out the rest of his write-up.