This past week children across Chicago finally went back to school.
Growing up, this was always an exciting time… and an anxious one. New teachers, lessons and classmates, it was a whirlwind of change and adjustment.
While it was often chaotic, I never really realized how lucky I was to live in a country that mandates education for its children. As I get ready to head back to South East Asia in another month, I stopped to think of the unfortunate reality that many girls face across this continent– a lack of access to education.
It’s scary to think that an estimated 31 million girls around the globe aren’t as lucky as my friends and I were growing up.
She’s a 14-year-old girl who’s grown up in a tiny hut made of dried mud in Kodanna, India. In this farming village it’s normal for girls her age to marry and move out. Never setting foot inside a school, they live their lives tending the housework and taking care of the children.
Being the oldest of five, this burden, too, fell on Laxmi’s shoulders. It wasn’t until this past July that Laxmi set foot in a classroom for the first time, becoming the only member in her family to ever go to school.
She dreams of becoming a teacher, but she continues to experience challenges both inside and outside of school. Her home collapsed in a flood and she was nearly killed, but now she is under the care of her uncle, one of the only men in her village to support the idea that girls should receive a full education.
The school Laxmi attends is a CARE-supported residential school in nearby Hardoi.
I’ve talked about CARE before; a non-profit committed to empowering women and girls through education and training. Their mission is to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities around the world.
Organizations like this one give girls the choice and access to attainable education– a priceless gift that many of us take for granted. Education can keep these girls from falling into the cycle of poverty, bad health and most importantly give them a brighter future!
You can to CARE.org and learn more about their phenomenal work. If you would like to help, you can make a donation on the CARE education gift catalog page. You can give everyday necessities like drinking water, food and livestock or you can choose to give education supplies like uniforms, books and even scholarships for tuition.
Even a few dollars can make a huge impact on these girl’s lives.