"Most young people in developed nations...get up in the morning
and head off to school without a second thought, because free public
education is available to all. But in more than fifty countries,
school is not free, and often, students and their families cannot pay.
We look at numbers and facts all the time without necessarily
understanding how significant they are. But this number--the 62
million girls who are not in school profoundly affects how our whole
Why? Because educating girls literally changes how nations
behave. Educating girls changes how governments function. It changes
economies and jobs. It changes the shape of health care. It changes
how families are raised. It can change entire cultures."
Sixty-two million girls unable to get educations! That is wrong
on so many levels. It's a tragedy for them, their families, their
communities, and their nations. Ultimately it's a tragedy for our
world. In Girl Rising: Changing The World One Girl At A Time Tanya
Lee Stone brings this tragedy up close and personal.
Where are these girls who are not in school? Some are slaves
trafficked for labor or sex to masters who hold absolute power. Some
are lost to child marriage in more ways than one. In developing
nations childbirth is the number one killer of girls age 15 to 19. In
some places the problem is as basic as dire poverty or no school to go
to. And then there are war, natural disasters, and people who assault
girls for just trying to gain functional literacy.
Some girls overcome obstacles we can hardly imagine to go to
school. Readers will meet:
*Ruksana and her family who lived in a tent like structure on the
pavement of Kolkata, India. They had moved from their rural village
so the children could get an education;
*Sokha, a Cambodian orphan who literally lived in a a dangerous,
filthy dump, scavenging to survive, until given thechance to attend
*Melka, an Ethiopian woman who survived a horrific arranged marriage
and went on to become a teacher;
*Rani (India) who was sold by her parents when she was eight and had
to work as a prostitute for five years before a nongovernmental
organization rescued her and enabled her to get an education;
and other beautiful, smart girls.
Fortunately the last part of the book concerns solutions to the
problem of girls missing out on education. Readers are shown ways in
which they can make a difference. Hopefully many will channel the
anger one can't help but feel into action.
As I read this book I was so aware of my great good fortune that
free public education, good preparation for college, was available for
my beautiful, smart daughters. Amber is working on her PhD. Katie
graduated summa and has a professional job. For that matter I was
able to attend college and plan on attending grad school.
On a personal note, yesterday I went to Amber's birthday party. It
was a slumber party themed party. So we got to wear pajamas! There
were very cool party games. My favorite was a nail polish game. (For
some reason Eugene sat that one out.) The homemade pizza and cake were
scrumptious. Brian makes better pizza than many pizza joints. Katie
came up from Portland with her dear friend Shaunna. It was so great
to see them! It was a truly wonderful afternoon, the kind of event
that leaves one feeling overjoyed to be alive.
A great big shout out goes out to Amber, chef extraordinaire Brian,
and all who attended the fête.
Sent from my iPod