Educating girls is the most powerful and effective way to address global poverty. Room to Read supports girls so that they not only graduate, but also develop the skills they need to negotiate key life decisions. By going beyond material support and engaging the wider community on the topic of girls' rights, we provide girls with both the skills and the support network they need to overcome social barriers.
In South Asia only one in four girls completes fifth grade, more than 40 percent of girls (ages 15-19) from economically disadvantaged homes do not complete first grade, and the literacy rate for females in India is 65%. Though school enrollment for girls has increased in India during the last decade, girls still face major barriers to accessing education, including basic education being free but not mandatory, and widespread traditional views that do not recognize the importance of education.
This project will provide long-term support to girls to complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. We provide financial and academic support, female mentoring and life skills training, while working with girls, families, schools and communities to create environments that support girls' success. This comprehensive approach helps ensure that girls receive all the support necessary to reach their full potential, and break the cycle of female illiteracy.
Finishing secondary school leads to smaller, healthier families, lower HIV infection rates, and higher wages. Educated women are more likely to educate their own children, and wages can increase by 10-20% when a girl is educated for one extra year beyond the average. This program has a lasting impact on its participants far beyond Room to Read's direct involvement: a recent study revealed that two-thirds of Girls' Education program graduates are enrolled in post-secondary education.
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Room to Read Girls' Education program homepage
Room to Read India homepage
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