“Progress lost takes years to regain. Teenage girls out of school may never return.”
Those are the recent words of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, urging the world to pay attention to the disproportionate vulnerability of women and girls resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Like Guterres, I am asking for your attention, and for your help.
A UN policy brief published last week on the impact of COVID-19 on women says, “Evidence from past epidemics shows that adolescent girls are at particular risk of drop out and not returning to school even after the crisis is over.”
Participants in our Girls’ Education Program often live in low-income, isolated rural areas, making them especially likely to be forced to give up their educations permanently as a result of this crisis.
But with you behind us, we can help girls around the world protect their futures.
Our team is currently taking measures to deliver our life skills activities and mentoring via video or telephone so girls have the critical support they need to stand strong, continue learning and navigate new challenges.
We’re designing new ways to support girls with distance learning, helping them to not lose sight of the importance of continuing school, and to further develop and apply key life skills like empathy, critical thinking and perseverance.
Girls will need these skills now more than ever before to cope with these challenging times, resist the societal pressures to marry young and drop out of school, and support their families and communities to rebuild a better world.
Will you help us adapt our program and support vulnerable girls by making a matched gift today? Our match has been extended thanks to generous supporters who care deeply about gender equality. Your help is urgently needed and your gift will go twice as far.
As Secretary-General Guterres says, “Gender equality and women’s rights are essential to getting through this pandemic together, to recovering faster, and to building a better future for everyone.”
Thank you so much for all your support so far. We are deeply grateful to have such committed advocates for girls’ education making this crucial work possible.
Lucina Di Meco
Senior Director, Room to Read Girls’ Education Program
P.S. It costs less than a dollar a day to support a girl with her education. Any amount you can pitch in will make a difference. We don’t know how long this match will last, but right now a gift of $10 becomes $20, $50 becomes $100, $250 becomes $500, and on.