Something To Think About As We Send Our Kids Back To School
As I prepare to send my kids off to school tomorrow for a new year of learning and enrichment, my feelings are a mixture of excitement, and melancholy. This promises to be a great school year for the kids, but the summer flew by too quickly. There is another sense, and I felt it as I bemoaned the cost of school supplies and new shoes for all four kids. I felt it when I mourned the end of summer fun and carefree days, and I know that is a side effect of doing the type of writing that I do. I write to raise awareness and it was a nagging awareness that had me admonishing myself for begrudging the privilege of opportunity while knowing that so many children in the world will never even have the chance to attend school this year.
The statistics are these:
-A staggering 130 million children around the world are not in school—70% are girls. (Opportunity International)
-A girl with an extra year of education can earn 20% more as an adult. (World Bank) ·
-Educated mothers are more than twice as likely to send their children to school. (UNICEF)
Despite the awareness of these numbers Education in other areas of the world is not always provided free for it’s citizens like it is here.
“Education is a pathway out of poverty and has seen the accelerator effect it has on improving lives and strengthening communities.”- Opportunity International
Opportunity International’s Education Finance Initiative, the Invest in One Child campaign
The microfinance organization Opportunity International has developed the Invest In One Child Campaign, to help tackle the issue and to ensure that all children have access to an education through the availability of their school fee loans. With the assistance of loans, parents are able to afford their children’s tuition and thus change their future. Opportunity International was founded to provide hope to the poorest of the poor through the transformational power of microfinance. Instead of just investing in the adults of a community , Opportunity Internationl is investing in the future of the community as well, it’s children. According to their studies the number one reason that families in certain countries in Africa do not send their children to school is lack of financial resources. Followed by lack of access to education facilities in rural communities and governments not being able to fund school construction, and meet demand. The Education Finance Initiative program also funds school proprietor loans, allowing educators to open quality schools in rural communities where there is need. Opportunity International is currently running education programs in Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, Dominican Republic and Rwanda.
By raising funds to support its education finance initiative, Opportunity International is helping to send children who would never have had the chance otherwise, to go school. Currently donations are being matched up to $35,000 dollars. It costs roughly $240 dollars to send a child to school for a year, or $1 a day, so the matched funds have the possibility to send entire communities of kids to school for the year. Imagine the positive impact that would have on their futures. It is known that education is a pathway out of poverty, and Opportunity International believes in the power of investing in one child at a time.
I also believe in the power of one, the power of one small act to inspire big changes, and one person being able to make a difference in someone else’s life. Even if that someone is across the world and we may never meet. when we act together the impact can be great. You can join the movement to provide an education to one child and give them the opportunity for a brighter future.
I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.
Our Motto: Individually we are all-powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.