Erna Grasz, Founder of Asante Africa Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to educating girls of East Africa, released the following statement on UN’s International Day of the Girl. Asante Africa Foundation partners with local African communities to address the root causes preventing girls from receiving a quality education. Their programs have kept nearly 360,000 students in school, trained more than 11,000 teachers and changed the future of 200+ African communities.
“Today, International Day of the Girl, is the opportunity to recognize the desperate need to improve educational opportunities for girls around the world. For the first time in ten years, the number of girls who are not in school has increased from 130.3 million to 130.9 million. This is an international crisis that must be addressed now.
Educating a girl is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote development and economic growth in a country. By educating girls, you are preparing the next generation of women to be tomorrow’s leaders. Imagine the possibilities if we can bring education to each and every girl. Opening the doors to education will help break the poverty cycle, reduce gender-based violence and diminish HIV and STD rates.
We need to be champions for every girl by ensuring that they have access to a quality education today. An educated girl can and will change the world.”
Asante Africa Foundation released a study earlier this year showing that teaching boys about gender-based violence and sexual transmitted diseases has led to girls performing better in schools in Eastern Africa. The Wezesha Vijana Study showed that in schools where boys were taught about gender discrimination, girls’ attendance increased by 80% and their dropout rate decreased by 74%. To read more about this study or the work of Asante Africa Foundation please click here.