For many of us, the first month of school means buying new clothes, doing homework and getting back in the routine of waking up and going to bed on time. But, did you know that there are girls all over the world that only dream of going to school. Hunger, lower social status, chores, early marriage, threats to safety, poor sanitation and extreme poverty prevent over 100 million girls around the world from receiving the education they deserve.
One of my favorite things about blogging is being able to share new things with my readers. Today I want to share something awesome that CARE.org has started. They’ve created a new campaign called Simply Said: In Their Own Words. This campaign allows people to send a letter of encouragement and write a message of support to students in developing countries.
I’ll be honest with you – I’m pretty sure Connor takes his free education for granted. He has no idea what it means to struggle with the opportunity of going to school everyday. He has school supplies, technology and everything else he needs to be a successful student right at his fingertips. I also realized today that he is a little ungrateful for all of this.
Well, that just changed. We sat down together and I shared with him a few stories of girls struggling to go to school.
Here are a few of the girls that we read about:
My name is Ifrah Abdi Isse, and I am 16 years old. I live with my elderly paternal grandmother, my sick uncle and an aunt who supports and cares for me. My grandmother lived at a refugee camp in Ethiopia but moved to the Koosaar Internally Displaced People (IDP) village when father died; my mom moved away. During my spare time, I like writing poems and so far I’ve written about my school, teachers and school headmaster. I enjoy putting my thoughts in writing, because I get to tell my stories, dreams and imaginations. I started attending Madrassa religious classes before I joined formal school, but I was always interested in learning more. My aunt paid for me to attend private classes so I could learn basic math and language (Somali). Unfortunately, I had to quit after a couple of weeks for nonpayment. I couldn’t see myself stopping and I was encouraged to continue teaching myself by borrowing books from other children and teachers at Koosaar primary school.
Moni wants to be successful in life, and in order to do so, she says she will study accordingly. She is confident that if she does not encounter any financial crisis, she will reach her goal. After school, Moni returns home to eat lunch. She helps her mother with the household evening chores, including fetching water for cooking and drinking. When she finishes her chores, she studies until 9 p.m., then eats dinner and goes to bed. She says education inspires her to take care of her family. “I just want to look after my parents since I have been watching them suffer since my early years of school,” she says. “If I get a job, I will take care of my parents.”
I’m sure you all will agree that getting an education should be free for everyone! It really upsets me to think that so many young people in our world are struggling to receive an education.
Education is the single best investment we can make to fight poverty around the world. When you invest in education, children will pay it forward. Equipped with knowledge and confidence, they will grow up to lead healthier, more productive lives.
Want to help? There’s a simple way we can all help. Join CARE.org by taking a few minutes to send a letter of hope and encouragement to students who are working hard to go to school and pursue their dreams of learning.