In the U.S. when we think about education, we oftentimes take it for granted. Especially when you consider women in other countries, specifically women living in third world countries. Countries like South Sudan, Central African Republic, Liberia, Ethiopia, Niger and Afghanistan have many women and girls who often are too poor to receive an education, or never finish due to being married before the age of 18.
According to https://www.graphicmaps.com, girls that are living in Niger, an estimated 78 percent of the poorest females that reside there have not attended school. Another 31 percent of Nigerian girls go to primary school, and even less than 8 percent attend secondary school.
While in places like Liberia, prefer boys to have an education rather than girls. An estimated percentage of females that have not gone to school due to poverty is 77 percent, also according to Graphic Maps. Sadly, the risk of sexual harassment is a primary reason that girls tend to quit school in Liberia. The long list of reasons for why girls do not attend school is long; either due to cultural norms, marriage, poverty, genital mutilation as well as unfavorable school environments tend to stir young girls away from going to school.
The idea of being female and able to go to school seemed like an impossibility, until Nov. 1st 2009, when She’s the First, an organization dedicated to inspire and motivate millennials to support girls’ education was founded. They have provided scholarships to more than 1,100 girls across 11 countries all while supporting the efforts of 225 independent campus chapters.
The creators of the program, Tammy Tibbetts and Christian Brandt came together having the same passion and ideas when it comes to providing an education for girls in other countries where they may not have this opportunity.
Tibbetts, believed that she could bring attention to this ongoing and big problem with the use of social media sites like Facebook.com and YouTube. Their program is all about supporting young girls who will be the first of their family’s to graduate high school and train students everywhere to be global leaders.
According to the website, Shesthefirst.org surveys have shown that 98 million girls are out of secondary school worldwide and 15 million girls under 18 are married each year. Results have also shown that girls with an education are less likely to marry early, and are more likely to be in a healthy relationship. This will also lead to women having fewer and healthier children that will change the world around ‘her’ for the better.
The closest chapter to UNCG, is UNC Chapel Hill that has provided the program. She’s the First website states their goal for giving many young girls in other countries the opportunity to have an education they believe could change the society and environment they live in.
“For the young women to become changemakers, we believe it takes education, mentorship, and global leadership training.” states, Shesthefirst.org.
If you’re interested in learning more about She’s the First, you can check out their website or make a trip to Chapel Hill the closest chapter to Greensboro for more information.