NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Today is International Day of the Girl and people are celebrating throughout the world.

Ellie Kaaya is from Tanzania and flew more than 30 hours to New York for the event, reports CBS2’s Cindy Hsu.

“It is a day where we have to pause for a moment and speak about women because they are amazing, because they are incredible,” said Kaaya.

Ellie is the youngest of nine and the first in her family to get a formal education.

“Born and raised with a single mom and I’m the first person in my family to go to high school, to graduate university,” she said.

She did it with the help of the non-profit group “She’s the First” which helps support girls worldwide who will be the first in their families to graduate from high school. They also train girls to be global leaders.

“So things like mentorship, leadership skills, sexual and reproductive health all the things that allow her to be successful in school as well as out of school,” said Christen Brandt of “She’s the First.”

International Day of the Girl celebrations are all over social media, and today at the United Nations girls from all over the world came to speak out.

The U.N. declared Day of the Girl seven years ago to increase awareness of issues faced by girls around the world.

Ellie says people can make a big difference by starting small with issues seen in local communities.

“It starts with the things that you see around, whether it being education or being health,” said Kaaya.
“When you start doors will open, opportunities arrive and you are on your way to get there.”

Ellie will go back to Tanzania tomorrow to continue to help the girls in her community.


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