We all know what the first day of school looks like here. I don't think I shared Charlie's picture on the blog yet, so here he is.
Charlie started Kindergarten this year and he is having a great year so far. He has made friends and learned a ton already.
Here's Owen on his first day of Preschool at our church. Education and socialization is so important to us that we're willing to pay to give our kids a head start. We are lucky enough that we can afford to do that, but of course, not everyone can.
Today I want to share someone else's story with you.
Joyce, 13, lives in Mukuru Kwa Reuben slum in Nairobi, Kenya with her mother and three younger siblings. Although her father lives in the neighborhood, he does not support her or her family. She’s enrolled in the eighth grade, but her days don’t look like most middle schoolers in the US. She wakes up at 4 a.m. to make breakfast for her family and get her siblings ready for school. She then ushers everyone to a neighboring school before running off to her own class.
[bctt tweet=”Click here to send a message of hope to girls like Joyce >>https://ooh.li/0638653 <<” via=”no”]
For millions of girls like Joyce, who are in school, school is a dream come true, but a dream from which they fear they might one day be awoken from.
CARE, a global humanitarian organization that fights poverty by empowering girls and women, asked students in developing countries like Joyce to tell the world what inspires and challenges them.
I like school because… It will make me achieve my goals
My biggest challenges… Lack of support from father
Education inspires me to… Work hard to help my parent
“I will work very hard in school so that I am successful and even if my father does not support me and my siblings with school fees, I will still work so hard to achieve my goals,” she says confidently. “Education inspires me work hard to be able to help my family to get out of the slum one day.”
For too many girls, however, school is just a dream. Hunger, lower social status, chores, early marriage, threats to safety, poor sanitation and extreme poverty are barriers than prevent 100 million girls around the world from receiving the education they deserve.
I cannot imagine how different my life would have been if I was worried about being married off or helping my family earn enough to survive.
Education is the single best investment we can make to fight poverty around the world. Children who stay in school are healthier, earn more money as adults, start families later—and most importantly—are more likely to make sure their sons and daughters also go to school. Education is an investment that pays off now and for generations.
While I know we're not all able to donate money, I know we can all send a quick note of encouragement. Many of these kids do not have the support they need and would love some encouragement to keep going and to follow their dreams!
This year as you send your own children back to school, take a moment to inspire kids around the world to continue to pursue their education, regardless of adversity. Click here to sign a letter of encouragement and write your own message of support to students in developing countries.