Ayva wasn’t even out of diapers before I started thinking about what elementary school she was going to attend. Back then, I lived in Philadelphia and was an Educator who had taught at dozens of the schools in the city. From public to parochial and private, I’ve seen it all. Some of what I saw wasn’t so good, but at least there were options.
When we moved to Oakland, after doing some research, we decided that a small, Catholic school would be the best choice for Ayva. We pay an annual tuition and are required to do a ton of volunteer work at the school, but it works for us. We’re confident that our sweet little school is the best place for our daughter, both academically and socially.
Not every family has the luxury of choice when it comes to where they are going to send their daughter to school, though. Did you know that there are approximately 31 million girls around the world are currently not in school? We sometimes forget that coming from the land of plenty.
There are so many different barriers that girls in some countries come up against, just by trying to do what is a constitutional right for our daughters. Even though these girls are hungry to learn, they aren’t able to get into the classrooms to receive instruction. Early marriage, school safety, conflict and hunger are just a few of the hurdles that many girls have to face in trying to get an education. Even chores can be a factor that holds girls back and keeps them from the classroom.
Jennifer Osei Boakye is an 8-year-old in Ghana who wakes up before dawn and travels to a faraway water source to get several buckets of water for her family. She cooks for her family and then washes their dishes. Even with her tremendous workload, Jennifer is able to go to school thanks to CARE. In fact, CARE has helped boost school retention for girls in her community by more than 50 percent by educating with community leaders and parents on the long term economic, social and health benefits educating girls has on the community.
See Jennifer’s story:
We can all help girls like Jennifer. CARE’s Gifts of Lasting Change catalog has back-to-school gifts for friends and family that support girls’ education around the world. By purchasing an item, you’ll fund various projects that will create an environment where these girls can learn and thrive. As little as $10 makes all the difference, and school uniforms for 2 girls are only $38. I’m planning to sit down with Ayva and get her help in selecting items to purchase. I want her to understand how privileged she is to be able to have a quality school experience, and to know that she can (and should) use that privilege to help other girls.
Think about what it would be like if your own daughter wasn’t afforded a quality education. What if she didn’t have the opportunity to get an education at all? Consider giving to Care’s Gifts Of Lasting Change program and giving all girls the chance at a better life.