BEAN Seattle Blog
Many of us don’t support all the same personal charitable causes but most of us can agree that education is extremely important.
BEAN helps students from Seattle’s poorest performing high schools go to college through the BEAN Scholarship Program. Last year’s TGAL initiative benefitted Vittana which helped to provide microloans to students in developing countries pursue higher education. You helped us raise $15,000 which has helped thirteen amazing students so far and will continue to help students as the loans are paid off. So why Girls' Education? Why care about educating girls?
For those of us who lack a long attention span, just watch this video:
Go ahead. Clear your throat. We know how you feel. Inspired? Want to take action? Read on.
Educating girls is considered to be one of the most effective ways in the developing world to help end:
· Violence against women
And is one of the best ways to assist developing economies to grow. The World Bank cites that “there is no investment more effective for achieving development goals than educating girls.” That’s a hefty list of incredible things we can impact by focusing on one cause. That’s why BEAN chapters worldwide are promoting that cause and why BEAN Seattle chose to partner with Rwanda Girls Initiative.
Rwanda Girls Initiative was started by two local moms with a passion and commitment to help educate children for whom education is not as easily accessible. They didn’t necessarily know at first exactly what they wanted to do but that they wanted to do something. (Sounds a bit like how BEAN started…). They eventually formed the mission for Rwanda Girls Initiative and are educating girls in Rwanda through what they hope will be a sustainable and replicable model for education – built with partnerships and connections through the local community. The Gashora Girls Academy not only educates girls in Rwanda but also fosters hope. Hope and a vision for the future is rare in a region where many girls and families are suffering from poverty, malnutrition, war and AIDS.
Here are a few points to take away…
About educating girls:
- For every year of secondary school girl receives, she increases her earning power by 15-20%
- Women return 90% of their earnings to their families, versus 30-40% by men
- Women who receive a secondary education marry 4.4 years later and have 2.2 fewer children
- Every year of education a girl receives reduces expected child mortality for her children by 10%
- Rwanda has a population of 10 million. 1 million people were killed during the war and genocide in the 90's. It's the most densely populated country in Africa
- 9/10 people survive on subsistence farming in Rwanda and on the UN poverty index, Rwanda is ranked 167/182 countries.
- On the bright side, it has one of the lowest corruption rates in Sub-Saharan Africa
- It's the world's first female majority parliament with 56% women
What can YOU do?
Absorb those points. Go ahead and take the time to watch the video again and re-read those items. Ready?
Learn about this cause and about Rwanda Girls Initiative. Tell your friends, co-workers and family members about this cause. Share the video. Raising awareness and getting people to care is one step.
Support BEAN events and have fun doing it! We want to help shape the world one event at a time. You don’t necessarily need to fly over to Rwanda and build a school yourself. Grab some pals and go to the annual BEAN TGAL Date auction and bid on a fun silent auction package. You might walk away with a kayak tour or yoga lessons, the memories from a fun experience and maybe a new friend or two. Volunteer to be on the TGAL planning committee or donate a package or service to our auction. Not only is the donation tax-deductible, you might meet some amazing people who had the winning bid on your donated photography session and will refer your services to their best friends who are getting married in the fall and are looking for a talented photographer.
Most importantly, there is a girl in Rwanda out there who doesn’t want to get married at 15, struggle to feed her family and wonder what her children’s futures will be like. She wants to be an engineer or an architect and build roads, bridges or buildings in her beautiful country. Imagine that you can help her and have a fun time doing it.