On International Women’s Day, a profile of success in educating girls of all ages in Africa

“In recent years, leaders in the field of international development have come to agree that the most powerful way to bring lasting social benefits to a country is to expand educational and economic opportunities for girls. What has become known as the Girl Effect is dramatic: A girl who doesn’t attend school or marries young, for example, is at far greater risk of dying in childbirth, contracting H.I.V., being beaten by her husband, bearing more children than she would like, and remaining in poverty, along with her family. By contrast, an educated girl is more likely to earn higher wages, delay childbirth, and have fewer, healthier children who are themselves more likely to attend school, prosper, and participate in democratic processes. (pdf)”

The New York Times profiles Camfed, a remarkable organization in Africa that supports education for young women.

A staff of just 133 people is providing educational opportunities for 2 million students at all levels.  Their work illustrates the power of reciprocity — listening and engaging with communities rather than simply presenting a solution with which the people have had no involvement.  That type of listening and reciprocity also is part of the foundation for N.C. A&T’s emerging university-wide initiative to engage with our community more intentionally (more to come on that).

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