Girls are scientists. Girls are activists. Girls are athletes. Girls are inventors. Girls are explorers. This week, in honor of the second annual Day of the Girl, our girls are celebrating all of the things that "Girls are..." around the world.
The research is clear: "when girls grow up healthy, educated, safe, and empowered, they emerge as adults better able to ensure their own success and well-being, and that of others." Just last month, girls, communities, and organizations from across the globe joined together to detail the Girl Declaration, to ensure that girls are included in the post-2015 global development agenda. Let's see what SWB Nicaragua does to achieve the targets for the first goal outlined by the declaration: EDUCATION.
Target: "Ensure all girls transition to and complete free, quality secondary school, prioritizing the most marginalized."
Reality: In Nicaragua, public schools are not free; uniform, matriculation, and material costs can be prohibitively expensive for many families. Loss of potential income and responsibilities in the home contribute to a secondary school enrollment rate of just 49% for girls (UNESCO). Of those who enroll, barely 66% complete 9th grade.
What we can do: We are proud to announce that SWB will launch a secondary school uniform and scholarship program beginning in 2014. All girls will have access to free school uniforms and shoes, and can apply for a scholarship to cover school matriculation, graduation, testing, and field trip fees, as well as all materials. Currently, SWB offers free tutoring and homework help to all girls each week, and an equipment and school-supply system that allows girls to "purchase" items using points earned through participation. The new uniform and scholarship program will mark a significant expansion to these current offerings, and we are incredibly excited to share our progress with you as it is implemented.
Today, we celebrate the potential of each of the girls in our program, and every girl around the world. With your support, we can continue to provide tangible support for these girls to realize that potential, a safe space in which to grow, and the skills to make their dreams a reality.
Thank you for your continued support of our girls and teams in Granada. We hope you'll consider supporting us again on the upcoming Global Giving bonus day, October 23rd. Happy Day of the Girl!
All the best,
The SWB Granada Team