Raya is reaching for excellence in education.
Thanks to your support, Save the Children is inspiring breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and achieving immediate and lasting change in children’s lives by ensuring that they are safe, educated and healthy.
Raya, a 14-year-old Egyptian girl, had always dreamed of attending school, but her father did not believe that women should have a role outside of the home. While reaching manhood is an empowering transition for boys, in many parts of the world, womanhood is quite the opposite.
One hundred million girls in developing countries are taken out of school early to become wives and mothers, with the result that, globally, more than 529 million women are illiterate. This is a great waste of human potential, and the evidence strongly supports the fact that empowering adolescent girls is the key to lifting families out of poverty, empowering communities and perhaps changing the course of an entire nation.
Save the Children is opening doors for girls in more than 15 countries by increasing their access to education, sexual and reproductive health, and training in financial literacy and life skills. One successful program for girls is Ishraq in Egypt.
Ishraq (meaning ‘enlightenment’ in Arabic) is a “second chance” program for out-of-school adolescent girls, most of whom have never attended school or are illiterate. More than 1,000 girls who participate in Ishraq literacy classes are eager to learn: In 2010, 83 percent of the graduates passed the government literacy test and 67 percent entered
formal education programs. Save the Children is now working to bring Ishraq to more than 300 youth centers across the country.
When the Save the Children program promoter came to Raya’s house to tell the family about Ishraq, Raya was thrilled. At first, her father said no, but he eventually relented when Raya’s uncle joined the chorus. Raya has become the first literate female in her family and her father is proud. “Now I am a better person because I know how to read and write, thanks to Ishraq,” she said.
Save the Children’s goal is to bring girls out of the shadows. Through Ishraq and similar Save the Children programs worldwide, girls have the opportunity to achieve their full social and economic potential.
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