I am lucky because I grew up in a time where women could be anything they wanted to be. I got a free education in a public school and went on to private college thanks to merit-based scholarships and some student loans. When I had kids, they started in our local public school, but for many reasons, they now learn at home. My kids have a safe environment in which to learn, and they don't have to worry about anything except learning.
My daughter, Dakota, is 9 and in the fourth grade. She loves to read, and she loves to learn. She doesn't have any barriers to her education, and she has the full support of her parents. Not all girls around the world are so lucky. This is where CARE helps. CARE is a global organization that fights poverty by empowering women and girls. One way they empower women is by giving them more access to an education.
Meet Mary. Mary is 15-years-old and lives in Nairobi, Kenya. Her parents aren't available, so Mary and her three siblings live with their grandmother. Mary wants to be a journalist when she grows up. She works hard in school to meet her goal, but she often lacks the money for food and school fees for an education.
By contrast, Dakota never has to worry about food. Although we don't have school fees, Dakota always has the fees for ballet, community theater, karate, and ju jitsu.
I like school because...
Mary says, "It will make me reach my goal."
Dakota says, "It is fun!"
To be successful I will...
Mary says, "try my best to work hard."
Dakota says, "work hard in school."
My biggest challenges...
Mary says, "Sometimes I lack school fees."
Dakota says, "staying focused."
Education inspires me to...
Mary says, "To be a hard-working journalist."
Dakota says, "do my best!"
Dakota and Mary are similar in that they both want to work hard in school and have a good job later in life. Where they differ is in their obstacles. Mary lacks the money for an education. Dakota lacks the motivation because she, thankfully, doesn't understand that education is a luxury to some girls in other parts of the world.
You can help by sending a letter of hope or encouragement through CARE to students in developing countries. These letters will help students get through those rough days, and with the help of CARE, hopefully graduate to end the cycle of poverty.