Research shows that supporting the development of girls, through improving their education and health, has a long term ripple effect on the wellbeing of their families and communities. For a girl in poverty, even an extra year of schooling can boost her eventual income by 10 to 25% and education delays her age of marriage and number of children. Across the developing world, when women earn income, they reinvest 90% of it back into their families, compared to only 30 or 40% for men. For details about the situation of girls in poverty, and ideas about what can be done to improve their lot and that of their communities, see the Because I’m a Girl campaign or the Girl Effect campaign.
I have a friend, Pam Lynch, who’s turning 60 next year and she has decided to mark this occasion by raising funds for the ‘Because I’m a Girl’ campaign. She’s planning to do this by taking part in a trek to the Everest base camp. What a wonderful way to mark this stage of life! Read about her plans in her blog, Travelling Bag.
I met Pam at a week long writing intensive in 2011. It was my first serious foray into the world of writing. In the company of like-minded women, and our inspirational teacher Patti Miller, I entered another world. It was writing heaven. I awoke each morning with words on my tongue. I could roll them around in my mouth, exploring their shape and savouring their texture. Although we came from all over Australia, many of us have kept in touch over this past year, starting blogs, pitching articles and trying to find ways to write about what matters in life.
I’m inspired by Pam’s challenge and plan to contribute to the Girl campaign, through supporting her and spreading the word. Improving the education and health of girls acts as a concrete step on the path to creating change towards a more just and peaceful world. If you wish to donate to Pam’s campaign you can do so through the official Because I’m a Girl, everyday hero fundraiser page. Donations are tax deductible.