By Devin Riggs, Regular ContributorOctober 9, 2015
image via care.org
Last week Michelle Obama started a new campaign, partnering with Girl Rising under the White House initiative, Let Girls Learn. The campaign is using the hashtag, #62milliongirls across social media to spread awareness that 62 million girls around the world do not have access to education and thus do not have the opportunities to better their lives and the lives of others.
The campaign adds fuel to a movement that also includes Malala Yousafzai, a teenage girl who was shot by the Taliban for fighting for girls’ right to education and who won a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts. The First Lady is asking people to post a black and white photograph of themselves on social media with the caption “In school I learned ______________. #62milliongirls don’t have that chance” and to fill in the blank from their personal experience.
As an educator myself, this is an extremely poignant lesson for people who do not understand just how lucky they are to have the opportunity to learn in school. So many people dislike school and take it for granted, because they see it as something they have to do, instead of something they get to do.
62 million girls do not have the chance to learn mathematics, literature, science, history, music, art…but more importantly they do not have the chance to learn how to communicate their needs, their desires, their dreams, or how to work in teams, or how to challenge limits.
Education for one girl can improve the lives of so many people. It can boost the economy of a nation. It can improve the health and happiness of people across the globe.
Education is my life’s blood. It is the reason I am alive…to learn, to discover, to challenge norms, and to teach others how they can impact the world for the better. 62 million girls do not have that chance, and they should.
Education is a right. We all crave to learn, to explore, to create, and 62 million girls deserve that basic freedom.
They want that chance to do something good. There is no reason for them to be limited by lack of education, regardless of where they live or what culture they are a part of.
Education brings hope and joy and peace. We as the human race must not forget to cherish what knowledge can accomplish. We cannot take for granted that which makes us human, the desire to learn. And we must fight so that every person, especially girls, may have the opportunity to change the world.
If you filled in the hashatg, what would you say? What have you learned in school? How can we help raise awareness to this movement? Tell us below!
Devin has a degree in education with a focus in English. She is working to publish her first collection of poetry while also learning the art of patience. Her passions include Doctor Who, penguins, hats and scarves, potatoes, dancing, photography, and making people happy. She believes in the healing powers of music, spending time in the great outdoors, and a good night sleep.
Every girl is a work in progress. If you need more help, click here.