An educated girl becomes an educated woman. An educated woman increases the likelihood that her children also become educated. Why is education important? It empowers a person. Empowering women has proven to be the most effective way of breaking the cycle of poverty.
THE FACTS...an educated girl:
- - Is three times less likely to contact HIV/AIDS.
- - Will marry later and have fewer, healthier children.
- - Increases her income by 10-25% for every year she stays in school.
- - Reinvests 90% of the money she earns back into her family.
THE FACTS...a girl in Sierra Leone:
- - Has a 1 in 6 chance of attending high school.
- - Has a 62% chance of being married before she turns 18...some marry as young as 11.
- - Has a 50% chance of being sexually abused before she turns 18 and is almost guaranteed that she'll experience some kind of sexual violence in their lifetime.
- - Has a 1 in 8 chance of dying during childbirth.
Bottom line, an educated girl will benefit both herself and help change the world. It is the "multiplier effect".
There are many different factors that stop girls from finishing school. A recent survey of 486 girls in Sierra Leone noted that the three main reasons girls stopped going to school were:
- - Child Marriage
- - Teenage Pregnancy
- - Economic Hardship.
Opportunity Education Foundation recognizes the importance of educating young women as a vital component to fulfilling the foundation's mission of providing a future out of poverty through education. OEF has partnered with Empowering Women in Africa (see article Empowering Women) to help retain girls in school after puberty. Yet more impactful is that OEF's program excites learning in both boys and girls resulting in that they capture secondary school slots in larger percentages than non-OEF supported schools.