Women and girls are disproportionately affected by civil unrest, food shortages, and other crises; women and girls are at a distinct disadvantage on the global scale.
In some low-income countries, parents must organize and pay for their children’s education themselves. Girls are less likely to attend school than boys with poverty being the most important factor that determines whether a girl can access quality education. This is particularly true when it comes to attendance at secondary school. Culturally, girls are assumed to bear domestic and care responsibilities, with the assumption that they will be dependent on men. Social norms, with men as breadwinners, lead to parental prioritisation towards boys’ education for them to have better career prospects.
Your support of DWC’s Every Girl program will help tip the scale through improved access to education, clean water and sanitation, improving housing and a host of other initiatives targeted to empower women and girls.
DWC’s Every Girl program supports women and girls in Liberia, Nepal, Guatemala, Cambodia, Kenya and Sri Lanka. When we empower one girl, we can change her life forever.
Shurmila is in grade four and has a hidden desire. She wishes that her family could buy a bicycle for her. She walks more than two hours to collect wood in the forest, carrying the heavy load home on her head. With a bicycle, she could reach the forest in a quarter of the time, then secure the wood on the back of her bike. Shurmila knows that her father, a daily wage earner, could never afford one.
A bicycle is like a having car in western society. Riding and owning a bicycle eases a girl’s workload and saves time. She
can get to school and has more time to study. The freedom of mobility builds her self-confidence and makes her more independent.
Riya is a senior student in Nepal who has received a bicycle. She explained, “Without bicycle I would have dropped out of my school and would have become a wage laborer in the fields or nearby city. I was always late to school as I had to help with household chores.”
This solution recognizes the unique challenges girls in the developing world face in accessing education. One bike brings many long-term impacts including improved safety and even helps prevents early marriage.
Shirisha is 18-years-old and a grade nine student in Nepal. She enjoys going to school a lot. Her parents were ex-bonded (slaves) and are extremely poor. They have always had a difficult time coming up with the money required to keep Shirisha in school. Over the years, there have been times she was needed to work in the family’s paddy field. During monsoon season she often had to leave her schooling behind.
50 Nepalese students from the Tharu Tribe in Nepal have been receiving school support through Every Girl since 2020.
As a scholarship student, Shirisha attends Shuvatara English School. Her yearly tuition fees are looked after and she also receives all her books, stationery supplies, a uniform and school bag. She never misses a class and doesn’t have to worry about paying for school and buying supplies.
She also participates in life skills training that offers guidance on building confidence and goal setting, plus discussion of issues like child marriage, career planning and financial security. Girls who receive an education are less likely to marry young and more likely to lead healthy, productive lives.
Manage and her husband Suranga lived with their four children in a fragile, two- room home made of clay on a plot a land in Sri Lanka. The dilapidated house had reached a point of collapse.
Although money was tight, Suranga, the sole breadwinner for the family, had managed to save enough to lay a foundation for a new family home. He was suddenly hospitalized with a serious kidney condition and shortly after, passed away.
Newly widowed at 35 years old and living in extreme poverty, Manage tearily explained that she and her children spent every night at her mother’s home nearby, out of fear of their roof caving in while they slept.
Manage received a loan and set up a small shop and supplemented her earnings with additional labour at a cinnamon plantation yet, she was still unable to save enough to finish the house build. DWC’s Every Girl program provided funding for materials and construction activities. In less than six months, the house was completed with two rooms, a kitchen, and a toilet. Manage and her children now live in a safe environment and have the opportunity for a better quality of life.