Natalie Portman is helping to Free The Children by launching a new initiative to help raise funds to open a secondary school in Kenya.

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
  • The opportunity to travel to Kenya on a Me to We trip during the summer of 2011
  • More great goodies in store!
Free The Children Prizes
Free The Children Prizes

“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.

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