It’s September and around the world, children are heading back to school. Yet in the developing world girls are often denied opportunities for education, due to barriers like danger and harassment from walking to and from school, teacher attendance, child marriage, early pregnancy, sanitation facilities, and restrictive cultural norms.
World Education understands that women and girls who have access to education and possess the skills to be economically independent are empowered to live healthy, productive lives, bringing economic development to their families and poor communities worldwide.
Meet four girls who are continuing their educations today thanks to supporters like you.
Creating Healthier Communities through Women’s Empowerment
Fatuma is an orphan from northern Uganda. She did not have the funds to pay for school so she found a boyfriend and became a mother, all before the age of 19.
Without a completed education, Fatuma struggled to find work to support her family. However, this changed when she was discovered by World Education’s Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe (DREAMS) project. Through DREAMS, Fatuma received health counseling and training to learn about HIV testing and life skills education. Now, Fatuma is an advocate for HIV prevention and women’s health in her community as a DREAMS Ambassador.
Strengthening School Systems in Mozambique
In the second grade, Maifa, age 7, struggled to read because of the limited resources in her classroom. When World Education launched the Aprender a Ler – Learn to Read project, we found that most second grade children could not read at all.
Aprender a Ler worked to improve student reading outcomes in grades 1- 3 in over 1,000 urban and rural target schools in Mozambique. The project took a three-pronged approach: teacher training, school management, and better reading materials. As Maifa’s third grade year progressed, she became a star student who loved to read and often brought home books to share with her friends.
“I want to be a nurse when I grow up. I know that now that I am learning to read, I will be able to be a nurse” - Maifa, 7.
Education for Child Laborers and Out-of-School Youth in Nepal
When Tulsara was in the first grade, she dropped out of school to take care of her ailing mother. By age seven, as an orphan who could not read or write, Tulsara’s future was limited, and she was at high risk of exploitation, including sex trafficking and bonded labor.
However, this changed when Tulsara met a World Education Nepal community outreach specialist who helped her return to formal school. Now, Tulsara is excelling in her classes and hopes to become a police officer when she grows up so she can help people in her community.
“I love reading. The books in our class are what I like most, they are colorful and I can finish reading them fast” - Tulsara, 9.
In Nepal, World Education has helped more than 100,000 girls like Tulsara continue their education. At Tulsara’s school and others, World Education supports teacher training, curriculum development, and resources that are improving early grade reading results and reducing drop-out rates.
World Education is committed to ensuring that out-of-school youth receive vital education and support that will help them join formal schools, or develop the livelihoods skills they need to gain stable and sustainable source of income.
Learning to Lead with Technology
When Srey Nich was 16, she dropped out of school to help take care of her family. At that time, medical bills and debt had caused her parents to migrate to Thailand, and her oldest sister to take a job at an electronics factory. Srey Nich was left responsible for taking care of her younger sister, her grandmother, and the family’s house in rural Cambodia.
The next year, she heard about World Education’s Youth On The Move (YOTM) program and decided to enroll in the after school information and communications technology (ICT) course, a nonformal education class offered in her village. She picked up typing, desktop navigation, and other software-specific skills quickly. Srey Nich used her newfound skills to help other students while also assisting the class facilitator.
Empowered by her experiences, Srey Nich went back to finish school. “I spend some free time to help youth in the school computer lab,” Srey Nich said. “The school director, teachers, and youth admire me and wondered how I have ICT skills.” Srey Nich wants to be a teacher and help younger generations thrive.
When we build up girls, we build up the world. Founded in 1951, World Education has implemented programs that impact individual and collective change in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, and the United States. Continue to follow our journey around the world on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, and support our work at donate.worlded.org.