Not your average Christmas gift

This Christmas, give a girl a gift that will last her a lifetime: give her a brighter future and change her world forever.

No matter what time of year it is, girls' futures in the developing world are affected by their access to education, healthcare, protection and support.

Take the chance during this festive season to give someone close to you a gift that has real impact. By supporting these projects and organisations, you don't just change a girl's life, you start a ripple effect that will change lives for generations to come. 

CARE FOR GIRLS DURING EMERGENCIES

During natural disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan, girls suffer the most. With that in mind, global aid agencies such as Plan and Mercy Corps are poised to act quickly and make sure that girls receive immediate extra attention. Hygiene gift kits, filled with soap, clothing and sanitary napkins, provide girls with the means to meet their basic needs over the holiday season. And educating girls in crisis this Christmas will give girls and their families a better chance of an increased income, improved health and better economic opportunities.

PROVIDE GIRLS WITH CLEAN WATER

There's a strong connection between access to clean water and the opportunities available to girls in developing countries. With Unicef's water purification tabletsand family water kits, you can give girls and their families the Christmas present of clean, safe water. Then, girls like nine-year-old Anzelma can stop spending their days collecting firewood to burn and boil water, and instead go to school, learn valuable skills and become independent women.

GIVE GIRLS CONFIDENCE AND LIFE SKILLS

After decades of war, girls in Afghanistan have been victims of gender-based violence (GBV) and extreme human rights abuses, leading to widespread low school attendance and low self-esteem. Women and children's development organisation Hagar have set up the Transitional Care Centre (TCC) to improve this and increase girls' rights. When fully funded, the programme will provide 100 girls with catch-up education classes, employment opportunities and life-skills training.

EDUCATE LIBERIAN GIRLS

"We help get little girls off the street and into schools," says Katie Meyler, founder of the More than Me project. Of the 73 per cent of Liberian children who are denied an education, 80 per cent are girls. The More than Me project works to get those girls, who are more vulnerable to exploitation and disease than those in school, the education they deserve. This Christmas, give them tuition, uniform and school supplies, and you'll give them everything they need to succeed. 

PROVIDE GIRLS WITH SAFETY

When girls feel safe, they are more likely to connect with their peers, stay in school and develop the skills they need to become economically independent women. Providing girls with practical, simple transport solutions such as bicycles and school buses this Christmas gives them that opportunity by getting them to school safely. 

TRAIN MIDWIVES IN TANZANIA

Skin-to-skin contact is a technique encouraging mothers to wrap newborns against their own skin, helping to regulate baby's temperature. Simple, yet essential, tips like these are being passed on to mothers by midwives in Tanzania after training from Save the Children. If you support them, your support will lead to healthier mothers with family planning knowledge that will save lives and get passed down through generations of girls to come. 

REDUCE THE CYCLE OF POVERTY IN PERU

Only three in every 10 girls living in rural Andean communities in Peru receive a secondary education, perpetuating the cycle of poverty in the remote and hard-to-reach area. Growing up deep in the Andes mountains, boys often move to urban centres to continue learning and the Sacred Valley Project gives girls the chance to do the same. This education will be passed on to their own children and families, giving generations of girls a strong voice in family negotiations and ultimately reduce the cycle of poverty in the area.

Let us know about any other gifts you can give girls this holiday season by telling us on FacebookTwitter or by email.