In the "girls only" class held once a week at the Amadou Hampaté Bâ School, Rahina and Aichatou, two bright and lively sixth graders, learn things that really matter to them.
Last week, our teacher talked about early marriages and pregnancies. For example, I learnt that too-early childbearing is not good for the mother's health and that it can even be dangerous for the baby.
I now have very good arguments against early marriages. I like traditions, but I think this one is not good for us, or for our families, or for society as a whole.
In Niger, gender gaps in education are real: Girls face greater hurdles than boys in getting an education and are more likely to leave school long before boys. Focusing on schools that specifically support girls' education is one way to overcome the barriers girls face.
Amadou Hampaté Bâ is one such school. Our association supports this school because it helps girls get a quality education -- essential for alleviating poverty, and breaking down the social and political barriers that exclude girls from fully participating in the future of their country.
Rahina and Aichatou are lucky to be studying in a school where there are separate sanitary facilities for girls, where teachers are encouraged and trained to treat boys and girls equally, and where a special "girls only class" addresses issues like early marriage, HIV and AIDS awareness, puberty, pregnancy and parenting.
Thanks for continuing to support this worthy cause and give these girls a chance for education and break the poverty cycle.