Being a young girl in Ireland, or anywhere for that matter, can be pretty difficult at the best of times. 


With the constant growth of social media and impossible standards, girls everywhere feel out of touch with who they really are, and who they want to be. 


Being a parent to young girls can also be tough, with all the pressure involved with growing up in Ireland in 2017! 


However, with struggle comes great possibility, and thanks to The Shona Project, those possibilities can now become fast realities for young women in Ireland. 


Shona celebrates women and girls from all over the world, those who succeed and those who overcome, those who lead and those who think, those who win and those who learn. They share stories so that nobody will feel alone.



It is fairly safe to say that figuring out who we are, and where we fit into this world is hard, and there are so many challenges facing the modern Irish girl; anxiety, depression, body image, self-esteem, boys, family drama, social media, exams stress, hormones, sexuality, relationships, and bullying. 


The world (and Instagram) tells girls that they should have it all figured out , and that they should be perfect, but what defines perfect? As parents, we have a responsibility to spread a different message. 


We should all be helping our daughters to be smart, strong and, above all else, kind.


We were lucky enough to speak with the amazing Tammy Darcy, mum-preneur and the founder of The Shona Project. 


"I had a pretty negative experience growing up. I wanted to curl up in a ball most days, and my self-esteem was shot."



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"A big problem I had was that I had no role model really, nobody I could speak to about the issues I was facing. Eventually, I went back to college, and started coaching a girl's football team, and I could see in their eyes that some of them were suffering the same way I had."


It was at that point that Tammy decided she wanted (and needed) to do something to help girls in Ireland, and so The Shona Project was born. 


"We have limits on ourselves, I reckon it's a cultural thing. But the question is why? At Shona, we want to challenge girls to ask questions, and be the generation that changes things."


It is the attitudes of young Irish people that need to change ultimately, in order for people to start treating each other with respect. 



You know that age-old insult we all used in school - "See her? She loves herself!"


I remember that being the meanest thing you could say about another girl, but really, why shouldn't we love ourselves? 


It exactly that mentality that The Shona Project hopes to sway with their special pledge: 


"I have a beautiful soul, a brilliant mind, and an open heart.


I acknowledge that I am an ever-growing and always-learning work in progress.


I own my flaws, but I will succeed in spite of, and maybe because of, my weaknesses. They do not define me.


I promise to lift up other girls, to have their backs, to appreciate & celebrate our differences and to encourage them to always be themselves.


I will always be myself.


I promise to be kind, not just to others, but also to myself.


I will use my voice in a positive way and be a positive influence in this world.


I am enough."


Girls across the country are being encouraged to sign this pledge, in the attempt to dismantle "the pressure to be perfect"


The project wants to ensure that girls are comfortable in their own skin from an early stage, and to reassure them that everything will be okay.


Everyone has a purpose, and when you put yourself in a room of people, you decide how it will affect you - nobody else. 


So, tell your daughters, nieces and sisters just how brilliant they all - they deserve to hear it! 




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