The Girl Effect challenged bloggers to blog about The Girl Effect on October 4th to raise awareness of this important issue. I'm up for the challenge, so today I'm blogging about the power of girls; the power of 12 year old girls, in particular. There are 600 million adolescent girls in the world and we have two choices: let them live in poverty, or educate them. The choice we make has a profound effect. If we allow them to live in poverty, they will likely be married and pregnant by the time they are 15 years old. If they survive childbirth, they will likely have to sell their bodies to feed their babies, and are at a great risk of contracting (and spreading) HIV. They will not only pass along HIV to their babies, yet also the cycle of poverty. However, if we choose to educate these beautiful 12 year old girls, we give them the power to choose their own destiny...which is, need I say, incredibly powerful.
I truly loved the Greg Mortenson books, Three Cups of Tea, and Stones into Schools. Despite whatever "came out in the wash" with regard to any wrongdoing with finances or untrue statements in the books; his message was dead on - to educate girls (it was actually from one of Greg's tweets that I first learned of The Girl Effect). By building schools for girls in impoverished villages in remote parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, these girls were given the opportunity to not only change their own future - but the future of their entire village.
Won't you please take 3 minutes to watch this video from The Girl Effect illustrating what I've just mentioned?
Visit girleffect.org to make a difference.