Here at Day of the Girl and School Girls Unite, we care a whole lot about girls’ education. We spend time each week helping a group of girls in Mali, we lobby to pass bills that help education, and we create events, like the Day of the Girl, to help promote education for girls.
Now, why is education so important? Why don’t we just raise money to send food to our girls, or send them clothes, shoes and household items? Why do we spend so much time and effort to get, and keep, girls in school?
Because school is the most useful thing we can give!
As much as you might think you hate school when you’re almost falling asleep in your last period class, nobody can deny that school opens more doors that we can imagine. School teaches you how to write, how to read, and how to do math. That knowledge, and a piece of paper we call a diploma, lets us have a career, earn money and raise a family. So, when you think that an estimated 101 million kids, more than half of whom are girls, don’t have an education, don’t have those opportunities, it makes you want to take a stand.
So, that’s exactly what SGU does. We understand that the importance and empowerment of school lasts much longer than a shoe or a dress. We understand that school gives girls power to stand up for themselves, to make their own money, live their own lives.
Many of the girls we help are trapped by poverty, arranged marriage, and abuse. Education is the shining beacon of light that can get them out. It can give them power to feed their families and help their community, and it can give them the strength to leave their abuser or go seek help. All of that power, all of that change, can come from school.
That’s why we work and strive not only to give girls, and boys, education. Because what we take for granted everyday, means a life changing opportunity for somebody else out there. And that is why education is important, and why we focus on it so much.
Hopefully by now you could be wondering how you could help? Join us in our Day of the Girl festivities, join or create a club like SGU in your school, and speak up! Saying isn’t doing, but saying is certainly better than silence. Because everybody deserves the opportunity that education brings, however boring you might think your last period is.
Visit our website: www.SchoolGirlsUnite.org
Also check out this editorial advocating for girls’ education: “Women as a Force For Change” by Nicholas Kristof for New York Times
Nina is a high schooler and member of School Girls Unite.