See the Ethiopian girl band that's changing the way young girls think of themselves.
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Gates Foundation

They might look like five teenagers goofin' around, but these girls are up to something big in Ethiopia.

They're a pop music group. They are a talk show. They are a radio drama. They are a huge teen brand that reaches 5 million listeners in their country. They are a way of life.


They are Yegna.

(And I want to be them when I grow up.)

Yegna means "Ours" in Amharic, and the group is all about empowering girls.

They aren't your typical teenage stars. They are girls on a mission to change their country.

They think it's time that girls are finally a focus in Ethiopia.

They have been left out and looked down upon for far too long.

The stats show how much it's needed. Out of the 9 million girls living in Ethiopia:

  • 1 in 3 Ethiopian girls can't read.
  • 1 in 3 don't even get to go to school.
  • 1 in 5 say they don't have a single friend.
  • 2 out of 3 women believe that wife-beating is justified.

That's a big chunk of the population missing out on education and lacking in self-esteem and the resources needed to be the smartest, most awesomest humans they can be.

Yegna knows that girls are Ethiopia's biggest untapped resource. And they're kicking butt at reaching them.

The group produces, edits, and stars in a weekly radio drama and talk show that is broadcasted to 5 MILLION people.

Each girl takes on a different personality and uses storylines that confront real-life issues and challenges that girls face every day — things like self-confidence, sexual harassment, taking care of yourself, following your dreams, and hitting the books. Oh, and they sing too.

Click play to listen to one of their catchy songs:

They say that to change things for girls, you have to speak to everyone.

With over 10,000 groups of people who get together to listen to them each week, they're off to a great start.

And girls aren't the only ones tuned in.

The boys and their elders are into Yegna too.


Check out Yenga for yourself:

I don't think this is the last you'll be hearing from them. This might actually just be the beginning.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

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via WFTV

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A closer look revealed a bruise on his temple.

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via TikTok

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