The Importance of Girls Education
The Importance of Girls Education
In the United States, we are fortunate enough not to have to worry too much about education for our children. In Honduras, however, graduating high school is considered a major educational achievement. This is particularly true for girls, who face unique obstacles that often keep them from finishing school. Without education, many of the girls of Honduras are left without an opportunity to lead a happy, and fulfilling life.
Education is the cornerstone of Our Little Roses, as it is one of the fastest and most effective ways of promoting economic development and is the key to ending poverty and injustice towards women.
Let’s explore some of the reasons why girls’ education is so important.
Driving Change Through Education
In Honduras, a country with over 8 million inhabitants, more than 60% of the population lives below the poverty line. This leaves two-thirds of children without proper nutrition or access to clean water, sanitation, and education. The combination of high poverty and lack of opportunity often leads to a high rate of human trafficking, with girls being the most targeted.
Our Little Roses commits over 80% of our total expenditures to support the education and ministry services for over 70 girls in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. We work with all of our girls to ensure that they have the best quality education possible, including providing after-school tutoring, ESL courses either at the home or at off-site, and high quality cultural, practical, and religious programming.
A good education can provide girls with a new opportunity to be who they dream to be and enter into society as self-sufficient individuals and future changemakers. Here are some of the biggest impacts of empowering girls through education.
1. Escaping a Cycle of Poverty
Did you know that a girl’s income rises 20% for every year of schooling she completes? Providing girls with basic schooling can make a major impact on their future earning potential, allowing her to rise above the cycle of poverty. Educated girls are better equipped to protect themselves and their families against health risks like disease and malnutrition.
An educated female population also has the power to increase an entire country’s productivity and promote economic growth. While the national average for high school graduation rates in Honduras falls at only 7%. By contrast, 95% of the girls at Our Little Roses complete high school, and 13% also go on to complete university. We are very proud of these numbers, and more importantly, proud of the girls that they represent, but we know there is more to be done.
2. Preventing Childhood Marriage
The ICRW estimates that each year, approximately 12 million girls are married before the age of 18. Despite the fact that the Honduran government passed a law in 2017 that made it illegal for anyone to marry under the age of 18. 8% of Honduran 15-year-old girls were married that year. By age 18, that number rises to 34%.
Education has the power to enable girls to avoid childhood marriage and reach their highest potential. The longer girls stay in school, the less likely they will be to marry before the age of 18. Furthermore, educated girls are better equipped to make smarter, more informed decisions about when and whom they will marry.
3. Reducing Infant and Child Mortality
Educated women are better equipped to make safe, educated decisions when it comes to reproductive health, leaving a lasting positive impact on generations to come. According to a study by UNESCO, a child born to an educated mother is 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of 5.
Educated women have a better understanding of prenatal care, vaccinations, basic hygiene. These are all key factors when it comes to reducing some of the leading causes of death in children under the age of 5.
More educated mothers mean a generation of healthier, better-educated children, far less likely to grow up in poverty themselves. Your investment in our girls’ education is an investment in generations to come.
4. Driving Equality
Less than 40% of countries provide girls and boys with equal access to education. In fact, some countries risk losing over $1 billion a year by failing to educate girls to the same level as boys. Because of this, today women account for two-thirds of the 750 million adults around the world without basic literacy skills.
Empowering girls through education impacts society as a whole, after all, girls make up half of the population. Women with education are more likely to vote, become advocates for causes in the community, and hold political positions of power. These empowered women are crucial both as role models for young girls, and for changing public perceptions on gender equality.
Every single girl who comes to Our Little Roses is given a safe, secure, and loving Christian home, and an excellent education. The idea that she can become whoever she wants to become is nurtured and encouraged, giving each girl a brighter vision for the future.
5. Creating Positive Change for Future Generations
An educated girl becomes an educated woman. On average in Honduras, women invest 90% of their income back into their families, as opposed to 30-40% for men. Providing girls with education is a major step in building future generations of educated, healthy and empowered girls and boys.
Through education, women have the power to become future leaders, drive change, and build stronger communities. After all, a country is only as wealthy as its citizens.
At Our Little Roses, education is at the core of our mission to rescue the girl children in Honduras from situations of risk, empowering and transforming them in a loving atmosphere of unity, respect, and security.
Since 1988, Our Little Roses has worked in the village of San Pedro Sula, Honduras to provide at-risk and abandoned girls with a safe place to learn, grow, and enjoy life as a child. Today, Our Little Roses is home to 70 girls. Our girls are given a safe, secure, and loving Christian home where they have access to medical care, nourishment, and of course, education.
As a non-governmental organization (NGO), the work of Our Little Roses has been made possible by the generous donations of individuals from around the world.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can make a difference, we invite you to learn more about the ways in which you can make an impact on the lives of the girls of Our Little Roses. Whether you wish to make a one-time donation or are considering sponsorship of one of our girls, any donation helps, big or small.