I was introduced to Tara Mohr and The Girl Effect blogging campaign about a week after I returned from Haiti. The symbolism connecting this campaign and my first international mission trip is poignant as I worked on a team that help to construct an elementary and secondary school in Haiti. Education is so vital for the lives of children, especially girls.
Will you be a part of the change?
I am participating in this blogging campaign for several reasons, three of which are below. They are the reason I am investing my time, energy, and resources into educational programs like The Girl Effect and pursuing future mission opportunities to Haiti and other countries.
TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN – MUCH IS REQUIRED
With an education — afterall, knowledge is power — 600 million girls in developing countries can break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Young and uneducated, girls are more likely to become child brides and exposed to HIV/AIDS. The impact of education on a young girl’s life is more than significant, it is life-changing!
By investing in a girl — the backbone of the family, the caretaker, the choredoer — her rate of survival increases dramatically, as does those in her family and community. If a girl is educated through secondary school, she will earn an additional 25% higher income. If she is healthy, the community’s health will improve and childhood mortality, malnutrition, and HIV cases drop. These girls have the capacity and potential to save the world!
four things that stand in the way
- PAPER TRAIL — Without a birth certificate or proper identification, a girl living in a developing country cannot prove her age, protect herself from child marriage, open a bank account, vote, or eventually become employed.
- DIPLOMAS ARE FOR BOYS — 70% of out-of-school children are girls
DODON’T — Child marriage is the norm in many countries and the body of a young girl is considered a prize instead of her personal property. In the developing world, pregnancy is the leading cause of death for girls 15-18 years old.
- H: THE SCARLET LETTER — The face of HIV is young and female.
- Early school dropout costs the Indian economy $10 billion in potential income over a lifetime.
- Joblessness among young Ethiopian women costs the national economy $125 million in earnings.
- When a girl in a developing country receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has at least two fewer children.
In Nairobi, Kenya, more than one million people live in a slum area smaller than the size of Central Park. More than half of the population is younger than 20, orphaned by immigration, or infected with HIV / AIDS and tuberculosis. Half of these kids are HIV positive — and of these, 85% are girls.
Change begins with me.
Change can begin with you.
Change begins with all of us.
BE A PART OF THE CHANGE
I encourage you to leave comments on blog posts, Twitter feeds, and Facebook conversations. Join the movement and make an impact in whatever way you can. If you’re interested, write your own Girl Effect post and submit your link HERE. For a complete listing of participants, click here.