• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

June 1, 2002

Girl Power

Special Offer

You're never too young to change the world. Marie Claire talked to girls who are crusading for what they believe in, starting their own organizations and making a difference.

Cindy, 12, president of Ecuador's Children's Government.

Mission: To create better opportunities for children living in poverty.

Twelve-year-old Cindy Espinoza is acutely aware of the poverty afflicting the children of the dusty shantytown where she lives in Ecuador.

"It's sad, but a lot of children in my neighborhood can't go to school," she says. "Their parents don't earn enough money, so they have to put their children to work."

So, two years ago, hoping to make some changes, Cindy ran for president of Ecuador's Children's Government, an initiative launched in 1996 by a UK-based nonprofit organization called Plan International. Her motivation was to encourage Ecuadoran children living in poverty to take action to improve their communities. Among the promises Cindy made as a candidate: literacy courses and a community house where the neighborhood children could study and play safely.

"Most children here don't get to do enough of either thing," she explains.

Apparently, Cindy hit on a need. In May of 1999, she was unanimously elected for a two-year term. As president, Cindy has already established a community center. She spends time there every day, helping kids with homework and setting up literacy courses for adults and sewing classes for unemployed mothers. She also launched a program to teach home health remedies to mothers who can't afford doctors.

Since being elected, Cindy has met the mayor of Guayaquil and has been interviewed several times by the local newspaper. Already, her dreams are beginning to come true.

Learn more about Cindy and the Ecuador's Children's Government at www.plan-international.org.

This Is A Developing Story
Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

Win a year’s supply of makeup products from Tarte and a year’s supply of hair products from Hamadi Organics!

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From World News on Women
The 6 Toughest Single Women in Film (PHOTOS)

Don't mess with these strong female leads.

Into Africa

Driven by equal parts passion and ambition, young Americans are taking a career path less traveled to Rwanda, turning life experience into a world of good, almost 20 years after the genocide.

My Mom And I Share The Same Husband

A mother and daughter having sex with the same man may sound hard to believe, but it's a necessity for women in one Bangladeshi tribe. Not that they're thrilled about it.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.