● 67% of females age >15
● 81% of males age >15
● 74% of people age >15
Young girl from Kabango Primary school reading a poem to DOTS board members during their 2014 trip to Balaka
Girls in developing nations are considered women by age 12. They are often married and pregnant by age 15. Without an education, they are at risk to sell their body to support their family, especially if abandoned by their husband. This puts them at risk for contracting and spreading HIV. Girls that stay in school and use their education to earn a living will marry when they are ready. An educated girl visits doctors and stays healthy, and she has children that are healthy. She passes on her value of education to her children and they pass it on generation after generation.
Educated girls are self-sufficient and the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. This initiative to educate girls in a developing nation is inspired by The Girl Effect. The more education a girl in the developing world receives the longer she delays marriage and the more wages she earns in her lifetime. Educated girls are self-reliant, have smaller families, healthier babies, and an opportunity to raise a healthy, educated family. Education increases the standard of living for girls, their families, and their communities and eventually breaks the cycle of poverty. Girls are the primary caregivers for their families and thus have the greatest influence on the health and well-being of the next generation. Girls reinvest 90 percent of their income into their families, as compared to 30-40% for a man (Chris Fortson, “Women’s Rights Vital for Developing World,” Yale News Daily 2003.)