Our scholarships provide a girl with everything she needs for school. Books, bag, uniform, school fees, shoes – you name it! We support girls from start to finish, through to their graduation.
We believe that educating a girl can have a ripple effect that impacts her entire community. There is a saying that is repeated across Africa – when you educate a girl, you educate a nation. In fact, it’s been said that there is no development tool more effective than the education of girls.
WHAT PREVENTS A GIRL FROM GOING TO SCHOOL?
SOLD INTO MARRIAGE
In Sierra Leone, 44% of girls are forced into marriage before they turn 18. We’ve met girls as young as 11 who’ve been engaged to men old enough to be their father. We’re not sure what you were doing when you were in grade 5, but getting sold and pregnant before you turn 12 probably wasn’t on the agenda.
Teenage pregnancy is one of the most common reasons for dropping out of school. Some girls may have unprotected sex, others are sexually assaulted, and girls are forced to sell themselves in exchange for food and money. It’s their only means of survival.
More than 70% of people in Sierra Leone earn less than $2 a day. Often it’s difficult to get enough money together to cover food and rent, let alone something as extravagant as school. If a family can afford to send a child to school, the chosen child is almost always a boy.
OUR SCHOLARSHIP IMPACT
WHERE DID YOU GIVE OUT YOUR SCHOLARSHIPS?
We’re currently working in 25 school, across 16 communities in both Sierra Leone and Uganda.
We work in both the rural and urban areas, and find that girls are facing different challenges depending on where they grow up.
In the rural areas, we discover more situations where a girl is pulled out of school for early marriage – whereas in the urban areas, we worry more about girls selling themselves in order to earn money to survive.
Either way, no matter where the scholarships are given, one thing is certain.
Education changes everything.