Nofy Nandrianina Noelisoa Rajernerson/CARE Madagascar
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG). It is a day to celebrate and recognize the unlimited potential of each and every girl around the world — to advocate for girls to be leaders in their homes and their communities.
But not every girl has the same rights or opportunities.
We must continue to create spaces for girls to lead, learn, and grow. When women and girls have access to resources and tools that keep them safe, healthy, and informed, everyone benefits.
Meet some of the inspiring girls that CARE’s teams have had the honour of working with.
Hana was born at the beginning of the Syrian revolution in 2011. Her family has moved multiple times since then, most recently to a camp in a mountainous region of Northwest Syria.
“I wish the war would stop so everyone could return home. I wish every child could go back to school and complete their education,” she says.
Hana attends school at the camp. Her biggest fear is that the war or her living conditions will delay or end her education. She loves to study English and dreams of becoming an English language teacher someday.
“I want to tell girls outside Syria that I love them so much. I would like to tell them that although we are living in a camp, we love school because we want to become architects, doctors, and teachers,” she says.
“I am proud of myself because with all the challenges we are facing, the war, displacement, no schools, I am still determined to become a teacher.”
Rabecca prides herself of being a quick learner, and recently put her quick mind to work by developing her skills as a tailor. She learned to sew in seven months and proved to be so adept at sewing that she quickly became better than her teacher. When her teacher, the only tailor in the village at the time, decided to leave, Rabecca had the opportunity to take over the shop in the local marketplace. She now produces skirts, shirts, dresses, and school uniforms for the local community.
Portrait of Asma Bibi, 12, Palangkhali refugee camp. Bithun Sarkar/CARE
Asma Bibi carries herself with a lot of poise and grace for someone her age. She is one of the many refugees who lost several family members in the Myanmar conflicts.
Her dream is to become a teacher when she grows up, but she is unable to continue her studies in Bangladesh as there is no access to education for the Rohingya refugees beyond Grade Five. Yet Asma remains hopeful for the future.
For now, she studies with her older cousin, who tutors her a few times a week. She also participates in a youth program led by CARE Bangladesh, which educates young girls on complex issues such as child marriage, human-trafficking, and gender-based violence.
Sarah Rasheed/CARE Yemen
At the age of 13, Khadijah, a student in sixth grade, carried the daily burden of providing her family with the water they needed. She wanted to be able to learn and dreamed of becoming a teacher. She had to miss classes and could not study as often as she needed to because she spent most of her time fetching water.
With funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), CARE helped over 32,000 people access safe water by repairing water points and installing a solar energy system. CARE also distributed hygiene kits to 2,085 households.
“Now, I don’t have to fetch water more than one time a day. Time is saved. The water distribution point is near to our home, so I have time to attend classes and I hope I can fulfill my dream and be a teacher in the future,” says Khadijah.
Litness Nyirongo is from Chimpololo village, Mphwomwa, Malawi. She is in level three at school and lives with her parents and younger brother and sister. In 2018, Litness’ parents joined their Village Savings & Loan Association (VSLA), which has transformed their lives. Lameck Luhanga/GGImages/CARE
Since joining a CARE supported Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA), Litness’ parents have been able to save money, which has allowed them to send their children to school, build a house, and improve their crop production.
Litness is acutely aware of the challenges that women and girls face to having their voices heard. She explains:
“Men saw women as unimportant and useless. They thought there’s nothing serious a woman or girl can tell them to help promote the development of the community. But this mindset can change with education and raising awareness that everything is possible.”
Through the VSLA, Litness’ parents have participated in household dialogue sessions, which are designed to improve relations between men and women, increase equal decision-making and increase women’s financial autonomy.
“My parents have changed for the better since my mother and father are now making decisions together,” adds Litness.
GIRLS HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THE WORLD.
With your support, CARE operates safe spaces for women and girls, helps girls access education and achieve personal growth, and works with communities to address issues or traditional beliefs that may be keeping girls from achieving their full potential.