Just like any other girl, they received messages of perfection through the media, constant comparison, peer pressure and unrealistic expectations, and were not confident in who they were.
Ruth was determined to follow the passion God had place on her heart and create a solution so the girls would be assured of their identity and better able to face those relentless struggles.
She didn't just want to help the girls she knew and cared for; she wanted to affect many more. She wanted anyone to be able to empower girls and reveal the love and faithfulness of God. That was when the dream of Esteem Designz Program became a reality.
Ruth was studying a Bachelor of Design at the College of Fine Arts, UNSW, and knew the power of design to create change, provide direction, meaning and hope in girls' lives. She decided to use that unique creative approach to meet the needs of girls in the Australian community, giving choice, freedom and skills.
Her vision has been realised in Esteem Designz, a comprehensive resource designed to gently take girls through a journey of self-exploration and empowerment, utilising the creative process as a joyful, uplifting and transforming experience.
Each stage of the program provides another coping strategy and an opportunity for girls to discover more about themselves. With fun, interactive and meaningful design projects, the girls are engaged, equipped and empowered to create value, confidence, worth and self-respect.
Ruth's faith and God-given passion to see girls valued, know their worth and be empowered kept her pushing through when it seemed every door was slamming in her face.
Having no finances to embark on the endeavour and receiving endless rejection letters to her requests for funding (although all commending her initiative) did not stop her.
She was not interested in all the things she couldn't do or didn't have but was determined to make a difference â€" she knew her God was bigger than any obstacle she faced.
"Every disastrous knockdown was just an opportunity for something better â€" an attitude I hope to impart to the girls through the program. God always had the best plan, even if I couldn't see it at the time. I learnt to trust God with everything and depend on Him for everything."
With positive feedback from the programs she was running, Ruth decided to take a leap of faith and get kits professionally produced in China â€" beautiful gifts for the girls to receive. That adventure brought many new logistical and linguistic challenges. She went from one factory to another when they stopped production due to the intricacy she required.
But Ruth persisted by the strength of God to produce a resource that would value the girls and be immediately ready for use by facilitators.
She said, "When everything felt like it was crumbling around me, I kept my eyes focused on God, knowing that He is faithful and more than able and that He was the one working everything out. God become my strength when I had none left, my comfort through this lonely process, my shelter and anchor when it all seemed too much, my peace, joy and motivation to continue.
"God was gracious to let me see the abundant fruit Esteem Designz was having, the inspiring comments from participants, and instilled a passion in me to empower creative identity and self-worth in girls."
Ruth continued, "This has been the hardest and most challenging thing I have ever done but also the most rewarding, meaningful and growth producing. I wouldn't trade those hardships even if it helps only one girl. In producing Esteem Design Program I have grown in confidence in my God and myself too, experienced strength from God that I could not have imagined, his timely provision, faithfulness and goodness and know without a doubt His calling on my life.
"I am forever grateful for the hardships I faced in school, which God has turned around for my good and His glory, giving me the compassion and the heart to make a difference for others."
Through Esteem Designz Program girls have discovered more about themselves, learning to trust and believe in themselves, that they can cope with anything and accomplish anything they put their minds to, gaining confidence, discovering their strengths and purpose and breaking free of struggles and self-doubt.
Esteem Designz Program is an immeasurably valuable resource through which churches, schools and community organisations can join Ruth in creating change and empowering girls.
She is particularly keen for church schools and organisations to be part of the amazing journey; to realise the opportunity they have to empower and engage with girls through the program. "Any investment and support," she said, "will change lives."
For more information about Esteem Designz Program, please visit www.esteemdesignz.com.au