This past Thursday, October 11th, the United Nations commemorated the first ever International Day of the Girl. This day recognized the distinct social and economic problems that girls under the age of 18 often face such as poverty, child marriage, abuse, and lack of access to education. Apart from recognizing these issues, this day also specifically advocated for girls’ education because it is recognized as one of the unique tools to correct these problems and help communities progress economically. Indeed, a main trend in international development says that is important to empower women because they are most likely to reinvest in the family, and when the family benefits, society as a whole benefits.
Since we spend our Thursday’s teaching at our rural school, Pacca, we decided to share a video that explained this momentous day. After sharing the video, we had a meaningful discussion about human rights and what rights our students have as girls. It was encouraging to hear the girls’ feedback as they recognized the right to make their own living, the right to play sports, the right to a healthy life, and the right to an education.
After this discussion we prompted the girls with a question, “Why is education important to you?”, and had the girls share and decorate their responses on paper hearts that they could use to decorate their classrooms. It was wonderful to see the girls sit down to really reflect on this question and their answers certainly affirmed GSW’s mission to empower young women.
For our students, education was important because it will allow them to pursue their careers, achieve their dreams, and enable them to support their families. They realize its importance because it is an opportunity that many of their own parents never had and it will allow them to improve their lives. By working with these wonderful young women in learning life skills through sports we hope they will learn how to think critically about the problems that surround them, how to communicate effectively, and gain the confidence to lead others so they can achieve what they hope for themselves, their families, and their country.