Education for girls is an important and urgent issue. Globally over 63 million girls are not in education. In rural areas and places hit by crisis, many girls struggle to gain the basic skills, knowledge and opportunities they need for a productive and fulfilling life.
Key global leaders came to pledge their commitment to eradicating the barriers to girls’ education, including poverty, early marriage and restrictive social norms. Raleigh alumni took part in talks and workshops about girls’ education, and were able to question government officials on their actions to educate all girls.
17-year old Muzoon, a refugee from Syria now living in England, gave an inspirational speech about the need to improve girls’ education:
“When the war came we had to leave our home. When we crossed the border into Jordan, I thought that would be the end of my education. I was very upset and worried. But then I found out that in the refugee camp there were classes. I met Malala who was working to get more classes in the camp up to 12th grade… Every girl has a dream for the future, but when everything is done, what can we use to achieve our dreams? Only education. It is our future. It is peace. It is hope.”
Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary from 2012-2016, made the exciting announcement that the UK government will pledge £100million to help girls hit by crisis and poverty to attend school. Greening praised ICS volunteers and other young people for showing such enthusiasm and passion for girls’ education.
“If there is one thing that always makes me optimistic about my country’s future, it’s young people like you, because you are absolutely fantastic and you make the case for why we should be investing in youth around the world. So congratulations on everything you’ve done. You can be assured that our government are going to continue to put not only education, but particularly girls’ education, right in the centre of our aid strategies.”
Raleigh alumni were thrilled to attend the event. Radhia, Raleigh alumna from Tanzania, said: “This is an issue that is very close to my heart. Back home in Tanzania, I had to leave education early because my family could not afford for me to do A-levels. I am happy to be here in London to see young people and the government dedicated to educating all girls”.
Ruth, Raleigh alumna, said: “I was really glad to be part of the Girl’s Education Forum. I have always felt strongly about women and girls’ rights, and I felt that by being at the Forum I was part of something momentous.”
Did your Raleigh experience inspire you to tackle an important social issue? What did you do? Tell us all about it firstname.lastname@example.org