Ever wonder what it would be like to be a young teen living in Tanzania? We thought you might, so we made a video. Meet Consolata. She’s about Shida’s age. This is what her day looks like:
Ready to be inspired? Here’s a quick and powerful description of why it’s important to provide young people with basic rights like education. A Girl Called Problem is about so many things, but in part it’s about girls living in poverty and the unique challenges they face. For Shida this meant not having guaranteed education, medical care, and good nutrition. It also meant people assuming she was cursed just because she had faced hard times. Tough, right? But there’s reason for hope. As the wonderful website girleffect.org reminds us, the world’s 250 million girls living in poverty today represent “the most powerful force for change on the planet.” That’s exciting! Check this out:
Curious what it would be like to have boys go to school and girls stay home to work, as some people in Shida’s village would have it? Sometimes situations like this are hard to imagine, particularly in places where access to education is universal. Plan International, a non-profit organization that did a lot of wonderful work in the village where I lived in Tanzania, teamed up with a group of Belgian teachers who had their students try on a new approach to the school day: boys went to class and girls, well, you’ll see…
If you found this video inspiring, you can sign Plan’s petition to Raise your hand for girls!
So what about boys? That’s a great question! All over the world, life can be hard as a boy. In the United States, for example, boys are less likely to get good grades, to take advanced classes, or to attend college. In short, we don’t have to look far to see examples of gender inequity where boys seem to be getting the short end of the stick. So, why all the fuss about girls? If you really want to dig deeply into the question, here’s a lengthy report from Plan International. Their response–gender equality is important for both girls and boys, and without boys the fight for gender equality will never be won. Here’s a short video to get you started:
Here’s a wonderful music video put together by three famous African musicians to celebrate the first International Day of the Girl Child. Mark your calendars to celebrate making education and other basic opportunities available to girls (and boys!) worldwide every year on October 11.