I have been fortunate to grow up with access to as much education as I desired. Elementary and high school were free. College and grad school – what I could not afford, I could get government loans to help cover the costs. Not everyone is that lucky though, and it is disproportionately worse for girls in many places around the world. A couple of recent documentaries on empowering women and girls – Half The Sky (http://www.halftheskymovement.org/), GirlRising (http://10x10act.org/girl-rising/) - have really moved me, and the main message from these films, which is: educate girls and you will change the world, is what has inspired me to setup this fundraiser.
Did you know that if every Ethiopian girl completed secondary school half a billion dollars would be added to the country's GDP? Girls are more likely than boys to be taken out of school, married young, give birth young, die young, and the cycle continues. http://www.girleffect.org/
I initially wanted to donate to 10x10, the organization that made GirlRising, because they give to several charities involved in issues surrounding womens rights and health. However, that didn’t work out, but I chose one of the charities that they work with, Care, to fundraise for. To find out more about Care go to http://www.care.org/
Because I can’t resist, I’d like to point out that there is a lot of work yet to be done here in this country in terms of equality for women and if you have not seen MissReprsentation yet, then you should (http://www.missrepresentation.org/). It was made by a woman who found out she was pregnant with a baby girl and realized that she did not want her child to grow up with the same societal pressures and expectations that she felt. They now make a version for high school teachers to show at school too – I know many of you work in middle and high schools!!
So, I have setup this fundraiser following completion of my Ph.D. to try to give something back to the world, and I know that I can count on my many friends, colleagues and family members to help me with this goal! As the organization through which I set up the fundraiser (crowdrise) says - "if you don't give back no one will like you". Check out the other fundraisers on Crowdrise too – there are so many good things going on and it is a pretty awesome website!
ANYTHING at all that you can give - $10 or $200, whatever it is, please take the time to donate. I hope to reach this fundraising goal (and perhaps surpass it!) within a month of my graduation which is May 18! So pass the word on to your family and friends and encourage them to donate:)
PS the photos are from the Tanzania trip that Bob and I did before starting our doctoral programs in NH.