Last week, as a Concordia University Alumni, I had the chance to attend a conference about using educational technology to save lives. Wanda Bedard spoke about her organization called 60 Million Girls – Empowering girls and women through education. A pilot project that contributes to the well-being of young girls in Sierra Leone.
After two years of research, trying to understand the real reasons why women have no or little value in so many societies around the world. Wanda came to the conclusion that it was through education that you can really transform a society, and more specifically education for girls. The leading cause of death in 15 to 19 years old girls worldwide is complication during delivery. A girl between the age of 12 and 15, who is pregnant have a 5 time bigger chance of dying than a woman who is 18 years old. For every additional year of primary schooling that a girl gets there is a 10 to 15 percent decrease in infant mortality. Education and empowering girls really break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. There are an estimated 110 children around the world who do not attend primary schools of which more than 60 MILLIONS are GIRLS.
60 Million Girls started in 2006 with a group of 9 women. They have no capital fund and everything they make is from fundraising. They were able to raise and invest 1.9 million dollars in girls’ education programs in 17 different projects and 13 countries, supporting 15 thousand children through this project. It is to note that less than 1% goes in administrative cost.
I find that AMAZING. It takes a lot of courage and determination to raise so much money and give it back to a community. That is why I decided to write this post, to raise awareness. Perhaps, there is something YOU could do to help.