Today, October 11th is the International Day of the Girl Child. In a world where 1 in 4 girls are born into poverty (World Bank) and 66 million girls are out of school (UNESCO), let’s take a moment to stop and think. What can be done to help underprivileged girls find their way in the world? I think the answer lies in this year’s theme for International Day of the Girl Child: Innovate for Girls’ Education.
Outreach Uganda is doing just that with its Girls’ Education Initiative which focuses on keeping girls in fourth to sixth grade in school. This program which started in 2011, now has over 30 girls participating in it. The program involves the girls, their parents and their entire northern Uganda village. In 2011, 19 girls started in this program. Within the first year, we were sad to learn that Cavine one of the older and brighter sixth grade girls in the program was pregnant. But after seeing her peers progress to secondary school with Outreach Uganda’s help, she realized that she wanted that for herself also.We are happy to report that in 2013, after several meetings with both Cavine and her parents, Cavine is back in school! Her parents are watching her baby girl while Cavine attends a boarding school to continue her studies. She hopes to be a nurse one day. Her parents are also excited for their child. Before the Girls’ Education Initiatve, most girls in the village did not go to secondary school. Instead they got married simply because parents had no money for their school fees and in the words of the village elders and their mothers, “there was nothing else for them to do”.
In 2014, we are planning on expanding this successful program to the entire parish (five additional villages). Please help Innovate Girls’ Education with us: donate now or sponsor and older girl in school! You can change the world today.