The majority of rural Zimbabweans live in poverty due to political and economic challenges and severe drought. Failing crops and record inflation translate to a great number of families unable to send their girl children to school. School fees and uniforms are impossible to pay as prices keep rising. Sadly, families must choose which of their children to send to school and sons are usually first choice. It is likely many girls will never return to school after dropping out.
IDEX partners with the Girl Child Network (GCN) who uses the funds to pay for school fees, a uniform and hot meals as well as counseling, AIDS prevention and leadership training for the most disadvantaged girls in the area outside of Victoria Falls.
GCN’s work shows that educating and counseling impoverished girls over the long term reduces HIV-prevalence and provides opportunities for economic independence. Supporting girls’ education and empowerment is an effective tool to eradicating poverty.