A few weeks ago my kids’ school held International Day. Each class chose a different country and went all out to create that location in each classroom. They shared information they learned and acted out days in the life of the people there. My fourth grader and second grader directly addressed how the kids in their countries did not all go to school because they were forced to work or marry or enter the military. They talked about how this was terrible for these kids, but I’m not sure they fully comprehended not being allowed to go to school.
For nearly two weeks my kids have been out of school due to Hurricane Sandy. The first few days were fun and games, the next few days the boredom kicked in. By week two, they were just plain ready to get back to being educated. My kids happen to love school, but even those who don’t might have a new appreciation. International Day became a little easier to comprehend when they were sitting in their cold, dark homes not able to see teachers or friends that are part of their normal routine. My kids and kids all over New York and New Jersey, got a reminder this month about how lucky they are to have schools to go to and be allowed to attend them.
Not all children are so lucky. Across the globe, millions of children, girls especially are denied access to education which largely goes unnoticed, but ultimately weakens our entire world. In Pakistan, one brave young lady spoke up about this problem. Malala Yousafzai, only fourteen, used her voice to fight for girls’ rights to an education and she was brutally shot byt the Taliban in retaliation for her protests.
So often we feel helpless in situations like these. This time, you don’t have to. Please sign the petition that calls for Pakistan to develop a plan to provide education for its girls. Then on November 10th stand in solidarity with the girls of the world for Malala Day. On this day, Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown – the UN Special Envoy for Global Education – and his wife Sarah will deliver this petition to the Pakistani president.
Stand up for girls. Stand up for Malala.