Just two years ago, the UN declared 11th October as the International Day of the Girl to raise awareness about all issues concerning gender inequality around the world. Despite the good work being done by activists, NGOs, governments and civil society all over the world there are still some worrying statistics out there:
• Only 30% of girls in the world are enrolled in secondary school
• By 2015, females will make up 64% of the world’s illiterate (adult) population
• 54% of 3rd-5th grade girls worry about their appearance and 37% worry about their weight.
It is clear we have a lot of work to do. We are very fortunate at Misión México to have seen first-hand the effects of investing in young girls. Some of our children have grown into inspirational young adults and have now passed into the Youth Transition Program. We believe that you must continue to support young girls (and boys) as they make that difficult transition into adulthood. Two girls in currently in the Youth Transition program are Maria and Dulce.
Maria is a fun loving, creative young lady. Her dream is to run her own dance studio and help children overcome trauma through dance. Her advice to young girls out there is “be proud of who you are, don’t be scared of being a woman. Be the very best you can be and never give up.?
Maria teaching dancing at Mision Mexico
Dulce, believes strongly in the role education plays in young girls’ lives. “All girls should have access to education; they need to show the world that jobs are not only for men!?
Now studying to be a social worker she says: “Mum (Pam Skuse) had such a good life in Australia and she left it behind and changed everything so she could help all of us. She’s been a real inspiration and that’s why I’m studying to be a Social Worker, because Mum inspires me to help others.?
Dulce catching a wave
Seeing Maria and Dulce thrive reinforces our belief that we need to continue to support young girls into adulthood and that the Youth Transition Program is vital for this. Our aim is to continue to empower these young people in a bid to break the cycle of poverty and abuse, and further create confident, competent young adults and positive role models who can successfully live independently.
20% of the Misión México household are now adults; 41% are 12-18 years old and by 2019 there will be an additional 15 young people entering adulthood. We therefore need your help so that we can see our young people grow and develop as they reach adulthood. Please contact us if you can sponsor one of our young adults or volunteer with our program; find out more about our Youth Transition program.
How will you be spending International Day of the Girl? Let us know what this day means to you.