by Selena M,
Concordia student & Lily Project leader
The Lily Project is a student-run initiative aiming to do its part in reaching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” Founded in 2017, The Lily Project members strive to create an environment which promotes female empowerment and that works towards reducing gender inequalities. Through working with younger girls in the Concordia community, educating the community on period poverty, and working with ZanaAfrica, the Lily Project has made a significant difference and is now working to expand its impact.
This year, the Lily Project members chose to shift focus and address pressing issues regarding gender inequality in China, primarily unequal access to proper education. To do this, the Lily Project has developed a partnership with EGRC (Educating Girls of Rural China), an organization that has already provided opportunities to 1,280 girls in the poorest regions of China. With their mission to empower women in rural Western China to escape poverty through education, EGRC provides both high school and university sponsorship programs to girls, allowing them to graduate and become employed at especially high rates.
In order to support EGRC, the Lily Project leaders were inspired to host a spin-a-thon in order to support the scholarship programs of EGRC. This event, which occurred on October 10, 2020, featured three spin classes at 9 am, 10 am, and 11 am, and involved a total of 52 attendees. Donations were made by people attending spin classes and by others who heard about the spin-a-thon and wanted to contribute.
Altogether, 16,155RMB was raised on the day of the Lily Project spin-a-thon! It would be an understatement to say that the spin-a-thon was a success. These funds are enough to send one girl to school for all four years of secondary school.
Female empowerment and gender inequality are prominent issues that need to be addressed, even within our own local community. The Lily Project team is striving to achieve even more this year and needs your help. Individually, you can help in several ways: visiting the EGRC website, educating yourself about these issues, advocating for people effected by gender inequality, and attending future events.