Advocacy in Action for Refugees

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Advocacy , Education , Refugees

By: Maitri Khera

Last week, I was lucky enough to lobby on Capitol Hill with hundreds of other Girl Up club members. Lobbying on Capitol Hill was a new experience for me, and I was really excited to talk with members of Congress who would be able to help us make our bill a law, that ensures refugees–especially girls–get access to education. Being able to have meetings with different members of Congress and tell them why all refugee children should have access to education made me feel like I was finally able to be a part of the change I wanted to see. Because of our efforts that day, H.R. 2408 went from having 9 sponsors to 32 cosponsors! When I heard this I was thrilled and knew it was because of our lobbying efforts that this happened.

Yesterday, I was able to attend the markup for H.R. 2408 (and several other bills) in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Hearing so many representatives say that they supported our bill and why, made me realize the impact that I had, along with all of you who lobbied that day. Our lobbying effort to educate members about this crisis was what helped our bill get passed in Committee on Thursday. We made a huge difference and I am proud of our advocacy efforts. The next step for our bill is for it to get voted on, on the House floor, so keep up those advocacy efforts!

After the markup of our bill, a few fellow Girl Up club members and I met with many different representatives, including Representative Chabot, Representative Kelly, and Chairman Royce. It was a great opportunity to meet with such influential members and get a closer look into the legislative process. Those two experiences alone taught me that I am capable of making a difference in other people’s lives.

You too can make a difference. Please continue to write, call, meet with, and email your members to support H.R. 2408. Learn more about the bill here.

Maitri Khera is a 2017-2018 Girl Up Teen Advisor from Rockville, Maryland.