September 26th marks Canadian YouTuber, actress, and comedian Lilly Singh’s 29th birthday. What’s topping her wish list this year? Just the opportunity for every girl around the world to be able to receive an education. For the second year in a row, Singh has launched a birthday campaign in partnership with ME to WE. This year, she is selling a new edition of her #GirlLove rafiki bracelets. As well as employing women in Kenya who are hand-making each bracelet, the proceeds from the rafikis will directly support girls’ education in Kenya by providing funds for school supplies, uniforms, and other school fees.
Last year, over 30,000 rafikis were sold during Singh’s birthday campaign, granting 600 girls access to education in Kenya. The success of the campaign was largely due to Singh’s devoted fanbase who wholeheartedly supported the campaign, some buying rafikis in the dozens and others spreading the word about the campaign across social media like wildfire. Several of Singh’s fellow YouTube creators, both male and female, also wore the #GirlLove rafikis and shared the news of Singh’s birthday campaign across the Internet.
Singh recently returned from her second visit to Kenya, where she reconnected with the women and girls she met last year while launching the campaign. Once again, she witnessed firsthand the positive effects that emerge when girls are provided an education. “These girls work so hard and I’m so proud of them. They’re going to do amazing things,” said Singh. “It has been incredibly humbling to see the impact we’ve made on young girls’ lives in Kenya with our first #GirlLove Rafiki.”
The redesigned bracelets have a gold colour scheme, are slightly longer, and feature square beads. As with last year’s rafikis, they can be either worn as bracelets, necklaces, or anklets. This year, there is also a combo pack available for purchase which includes a #GirlLove pin as well as a bracelet. The revamped campaign features dramatically lowered shipping prices, and the bracelets will now ship to 223 countries.
Each rafiki bracelet comes with a charm that reads #GirlLove- the name of another campaign Singh launched almost two years ago, back in December 2015. Singh was bothered by how normalized it was for women to insult and tear down other women. So, she posted a video featuring several other female YouTubers and celebrities, each explaining why supporting other women should be the new norm. She then challenged her audience to “spread girl love”, by complimenting and supporting other women, both online and offline. Singh also donated the proceeds from the video to the Malala Fund, an organization dedicated to granting girls around the world access to an education founded by young activist Malala Yousafzai.
When #GirlLove began, it was all about girl power, encouraging women to support each other, and ending the cycle of girl-on-girl hate. However, the last thing Singh wanted was for the sentiment of the campaign to fade away after the initial video was posted. At this point, it was not only Singh leading the movement. Her millions of fans got on board. On various social media platforms, #GirlLove is always full of Singh’s fans expressing their support for each other and other women- ranging from close friends and family to other celebrities. Singh also made the topic of female empowerment a regular conversation on her YouTube channel. The #GirlLove episodes on her channel feature a wide variety of female celebrities chatting with Singh about relevant issues that impact women. So far, guests have included Michelle Obama, the cast of Bad Moms, Sabrina Carpenter, and Bebe Rexha.
By launching #GirlLove, Singh sparked a massive online movement promoting love and acceptance of other women. Now her campaign has evolved into a movement that emphasizes equality, acceptance of all, and the empowerment of both males and females around the world. These are sentiments the campaign’s partner organization, ME to WE, and parent company WE can get behind. The organization has not only helped Singh launch the rafiki campaigns and travel to Kenya but have booked her at various WE Days around the world to spread her inspiring message to younger generations.
Upon the launch of the campaign, Singh emphasized just how much this campaign means to her, repeatedly insisting that rafiki sales are the only thing she wants for her birthday. Her passion and selfless dedication to this cause and her camaraderie with the girls she’s helped so far inspire her audience of over 12 million to contribute to worthwhile causes close to their own hearts. Of the importance of campaigns that promote girls’ education, Singh says: “Until every child worldwide has the opportunity to go to school, we must do what we can to help our brothers and sisters achieve their highest goals.” Be sure to watch her video below where she further explains the cause and the success of last year’s campaign.
The new edition of Singh’s #GirlLove rafikis will be on sale until October 11th, the Day Of The Girl. Singh has currently set a goal of selling 16,000 rafikis by this date. The #GirlLove rafiki bracelets are available for purchase at GirlLove.com.
What are your thoughts on Lilly Singh’s new #GirlLove rafikis? Will you be purchasing one? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix.