Educating girls and young women changes their lives. But, we also know that it changes their communities and their entire nations. Educating girls has a powerful and lasting impact on ending the cycle of poverty and hunger.
Once, while talking with a Methodist bishop in Kenya, I heard an old Kenyan proverb which I’ve never forgotten. The bishop told me that in Kenya there is a saying that goes like this: “Teach a boy and you educate a person. But, teach a girl and you educate an entire village.”
Those of us working toward ending poverty and creating a world without hunger know the truth of this proverb. That’s why school feeding programs like Stop Hunger Now’s are so effective and so powerful. When meals are provided at schools the enrollment doubles, triples and sometimes increases even more, and most of that increased attendance is from girls. And even 3-4 years of school can dramatically change a girl’s life forever.
We have learned that educating girls and young women actually changes their communities for the better. Empowering girls does change the world. Believe it. The “Girl Effect” is real.
This is what I have always wanted. What makes it so much fun is that we’re actually doing it. We are making the world a better place.
Our society is tremendously flawed and tolerates unbelievable injustices to be perpetrated on the poor. Yet, we are still moving the world in the right direction.
The number of poor and hunger continue to go down. That’s success. The number of girls being educated is growing that’s success. More children have access to clean water. That’s success.
Working together we can create a better world. And like I already pointed out, it’s great fun. Let’s continue making it happen. Our children and our grandchildren will see it for what it is, a gift from our generation to theirs.
On the eve of International Women’s Day, Stop Hunger Now India salutes the spirit of these girls from the Hope Foundation school near Tannery Road in Bangalore who, despite all the odds and challenges, have successfully completed their high school courses and are getting ready to spread their wings. They will soon be joining college courses to pursue higher studies after spending 10 to 12 years in the same school. These girls and nearly 400 others from this school located in a slum community inside Bangalore are benefiting from the meals provided by Stop Hunger Now India. Proud moments!