Friday, April 6, 2007

A Little Money Changes Things ALOT

Educating impoverished girls in developing countries has a huge bounce for the buck. When women are educated they are less vulnerable and better equipped to support themselves and their families. Today in the New York Times, Thomas Friedman highlights an organization/movement doing impressive work in supporting Kenyan girls to stay in school. One trick is simply to provide sanitary napkins. Many girls around the world are ashamed to go to school without them; because they miss so much class each month, they fall behind, get discouraged, and drop out.

Naisiae Tobiko .... runs a public relations firm, but when we met all she wanted to talk about was Kenya’s shortage of sanitary napkins for girls. .... So Ms. Tobiko recently teamed up with the Girl Child Network and other N.G.O.s here and started a project in the countryside to distribute free sanitary napkins. They have targeted 500,000 girls, and so far have reached 189,000. More school days means more educated women and better mothers.

“We’re keeping girls in school,” said Ms. Tobiko. If women get education, “we want nothing else,” she added. “We will fight our way into every field, but we need the main key — which is education.”

Friedman did not include information on how to donate to Girl Child Network, but a search shows you can donate to them through American Jewish World Service, which is already a funding parter. I don't know if it's possible to earmark a donation directly online, but presumably one could do so with a check.

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