Let Girls Learn

A threat to girls’ education is a threat to progress. All girls should have the opportunity to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to break the cycle of poverty, raise healthier families, and help build their communities.

62 million girls are out of school around the world, most of them are adolescents. In some countries, fewer than 10% of teenage girls complete secondary school. Barriers to girls receiving an education are significant. Some  girls risk violent attacks each time she attempts to attend class. Some mother’s cannot afford a uniform or school fees. Some girls are denied an education because of the circumstances of her birth or the customs of her community. Many girls cannot attend school simply because they are girls or because of childhood marriage (many are forced to marry before the age of 15).

When a girl receives a quality education, she is more likely to earn a decent living, raise a healthy and educated family and improve the quality of life for herself, her family and her community. There is also a direct correlation between a girls attendance in secondary school and later marriage, later childbearing, lower maternal and infant mortality rates, lower birth rates, lower rates of HIV/AIDs and significantly higher earning power.
The Let Girls Learn initiative is a government program, led by First Lady Michelle Obama, that addresses these challenges by ensuring adolescent girls get the education they deserve. The program collaborates with other advocacy programs such as the Peace Corps and USAID to help encourage and support communities to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education. 

As part of the Let Girls Learn initiative, Michelle Obama announced a new partnership between the United States and United Kingdom to improve girls' access to education around the world. The $200 million collaboration is set to help enroll girls and boys who are currently not in school, motivate parents and communities to support girls staying in school, and improve materials and teaching methods.

The first projects will help 450,000 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo get a primary school education.  Special attention and a portion of the funds will be devoted "to countries affected by conflict and crisis," with the Democratic Republic of the Congo set to receive $180 million over five years, benefiting "more than 755,000 girls aged 10 to 18," according to the press release.

The partnership also encourages the collaboration of other advocacy organizations. The U.S. Peace Corps and U.K.'s Campaign for Female Education has already committed to assist by sharing their knowledge and practices. 

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