Why do we sponsor young girls and women’s education in East Africa?

Girls and women education is a strong priority and factor that determines world development. According to World Bank; 62 million girls globally of ages 6-15 are out of school and girls continue to lag behind substantially in secondary school education, and the numbers are estimated at 130 million girls miss out on secondary education ( Malala Education Fund)

Poverty remains the most important factor for determining whether a girl will go to school and research reinforces that girls who face multiple sources of disadvantage such as low family income level, living in remote or undeserved locations, and/or minority ethno-linguistic backgrounds remain farthest behind in terms of enrollment and learning.

Source: World Bank Report 2016.

GTL’s greatest achievement is the graduation from high school by more than 1,300 girls in East Africa who, without a GTL scholarship, would not have been able to receive a secondary school education. In 2017, we are awarding 220 high school scholarships, up from 187 in 2016.

Multiple studies by international development and government agencies have shown that girls in developing countries who have achieved a high school education:

  • Are more likely to participate in the labor force, engage in paid employment, earn more for their families over their lifetimes, and have healthier children who stay in school longer than girls who are not able to attend high school.
  • Receive a higher economic return on investment in education than boys. Female secondary education has an 18% return in the form of eventual wages, compared with 14% for males.
  • Are up to six times less likely to be married as children than those with little or no schooling.
  • Have a greater influence over school enrollment of children than the education level of fathers.
  • Have, on average, 2.2 fewer children.

The positive effects of maternal education are also transferred to the next generation: Every extra year of schooling reduces infant mortality by up to 10%.  In addition, the ripple effect from improving the lives of young girls becomes even stronger for the local community because of the tendency of females to reinvest their income at home. Girls and women spend 90% of their earned income on their families, compared with 30% to 40% among males. (From The Mac Arthur Foundation. “Girls Secondary Education in Developing Countries”.  January 2016.)

The benefits of each GTL scholarship ripple through the families and communities of the girls we support, amplifying their impact many times over.

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