Education is the first step to breaking the cycle of poverty. On any given day, more than 130 million girls are out of school. Many children face barriers that prevent them from attending school, such as needing to collect water for their families, staying home to perform household activities or living in conflict-ridden areas. With access to education, children gain the skills and tools to empower themselves and their communities. Education provides the opportunity for children to learn, grow and become empowered to lead the life they want to live.
Every child has the right to a primary education, guaranteed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. There is so much we can do to improve access to education for children around the world, beginning with building classrooms in developing communities so that every child has a school to attend.
One school can improve every aspect of a community’s health and well-being. In school, students learn to set goals and solve problems, helping their parents run more successful home businesses and farms. They also learn how to safely treat drinking water and stop the spread of diseases, making their communities healthier. Education is proven to reduce the chance of death for mothers and infants during and after pregnancy. Educated mothers are also more likely to send their children to school.
Despite the benefits of girls’ education, girls usually have the hardest time accessing education. Many drop out once they reach puberty because they don’t have clean or private toilets or latrines to use at school. In some cultures, girls are forced to leave school and marry at an early age. Even the daily chore of walking for hours to collect drinking water limits the time that girls can spend in the classroom.