This time of year, children all over the country are going back to school.
And while I am getting my own daughters ready by waking them up earlier, buying school supplies, and meeting their new teachers, I can’t help but be thankful for this wonderful opportunity and privilege they have.
One in ten children worldwide do not have access to primary school.
While it is known that education transforms and breaks the cycle of poverty, there are many barriers to school enrollment and completion:
Unaffordable costs – Even when primary education is free, costs like school uniforms, supplies, textbooks, teacher salaries, and school maintenance often prevents regular attendance.
Shortage of classrooms – In some rural areas children travel two or three hours to attend school in overcrowded classrooms that barely meet minimal standards of learning.
Humanitarian emergencies, especially conflicts – 40 percent of out-of-school children live in conflict-affected poor countries but only 2 percent of humanitarian aid goes to education. Education can save lives in emergency situations, and a safe school environment can give a much needed sense of normalcy and stability in a crisis.
Gender discrimination – Many countries undervalue girls’ education. As a result, two-thirds of illiterate adults are women. Girls face more hurdles to school attendance, like household chores, child marriage, early pregnancy, unsafe travel conditions and lack of sanitary facilities in schools. While the gender gap is closing in primary education, there has been limited progress in secondary schools.
Child labor – Poverty and vulnerability pushes many children into the work force, often exposing them to the worst forms of labor. Some manage to continue their education, but the double responsibility is to their disadvantage and prohibits their chance to leave the cycle of poverty.
As education has been proven to be a major force of development to break the cycle of poverty, many projects that Global Women’s Project supports help with education in order to improve lives. Education for girls is especially important. An educated mother will make sure her children will go and stay in school. Through your generous gifts, GWP works to make education for girls a priority.
On a different note, we will have our semi-annual GWP Steering Committee meeting from the 25th till the 27th of September 2015 in Elgin, IL. On Sunday, the 27th, we will be celebrating worship with the Highland Church of the Brethren and would love for you to join us.
GWP Steering Committee