lunes, 22 de febrero de 2016

Educating African girls has a multiplier effect

Educating African girls has a multiplier effect

Africa is a continent that is big, joyful, generous, enthusiastic and optimistic. Harambee tells its stories: from its love of life and family, to people who have withstood great odds to stories of innovation achieved with limited resources. Our partner is Harambee Africa International, a Rome-based NGO. We want to hear from you. Contact Eugene Ohu, the editor, at


Educating African girls has a multiplier effect
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Contrary to the common assumption that families weren’t sending girls to school for cultural reasons, Ann Cotton, founder of the “Campaign for Female Education” (Camfed) discovered poverty was the main roadblock. As she says, “Families couldn’t afford to buy books or pay school fees for all their children, so they had to choose who would receive an education. Girls were rarely chosen. The reason was simple: boys had a better chance of getting a paid job after graduation.” Ms Cotton founded her organization in 1993 and she is among several people who have seen the need for contributing the missing pieces in a puzzle that is Africa’s struggle against economic and cultural poverty.

But as more women take on high-standing roles in both government and private institutions, poor families feel more confident in investing equally in all their children’s education, regardless of their sex. The example set by women working in a variety of professional areas in both urban and rural areas has had a trickledown effect in hitherto traditionally-minded areas, making them more favourable towards educating their daughters just as well as their sons.

Since its foundation, Camfed has helped over 1.4 million girls in six countries. Programs such as these not only educate girls.  They also help to resolve problems that arise from the disadvantaged and abusive past many of these young girls have come from, giving them more self-confidence.  The importance of women’s presence and participation in all aspects of social and professional life is further enhanced.

When girls are educated, society and the world of work is enriched with their natural sensitivity, intuitiveness, generosity and fidelity, which education enhances.  Such are the women that Pope John Paul II praised in his address on the eve of the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing, September 1995. “Thank you, women who work! You are present and active in every area of life: social, economic, cultural, artistic and political. In this way you make an indispensable contribution to the growth of a culture which unites reason and feeling, to a model of life ever open to the sense of "mystery", to the establishment of economic and political structures ever more worthy of humanity.”
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Our lead story today comes from Australia -- a media witch hunt for Cardinal George Pell over sex abuse allegations. Now that the burly, genial cleric is the third person in the Vatican's hierarchy, the man in charge of reforming its chaotic finances, it is a story that could have world-wide repercussions. This is an incendiary issue, and we could easily be accused of taking the side of a MercatorNet contributor. Read it and make up your own mind.
However, I was delighted to read one of Australia's most popular columnists taking Pell's side. Andrew Bolt is not a Catholic, but he writes
... the campaign to destroy Pell has become sinister as well, after it was joined by — in my view — elements of Victoria Police.... This leak is clearly timed to hurt Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic. It seems to me a scandalous injustice and abuse of state power to leak information that the leaker must have known any newspaper would feel compelled to report, if not endorse. This is not the first sign that Victoria’s police force has a culture that encourages officers to hunt Catholics and smear their church.
Michael Cook 


Hang him first, try him later

Michael Cook | FEATURES | 22 February 2016
A media lynch mob is baying for the blood of Australia's leading Catholic bishop

Donor conception: a modern day slavery

Elizabeth Howard | FEATURES | 22 February 2016
An adult speaks out about the anguish caused by her lack of a biological father.

Oregon releases its 2015 ‘death with dignity’ stats

Michael Cook | CAREFUL! | 20 February 2016
Since legalisation 991 people have died.

Controlling trolls helps keep social media free

Denyse O'Leary | CONNECTING | 22 February 2016
But there’s a risk in making trolls more important than we need to.

Educating African girls has a multiplier effect

Jotham Muriu Njoroge | HARAMBEE | 20 February 2016
"Educating girls is the best investment we can make to alleviate poverty and create a safer world. It has an incredible multiplier effect, providing returns for generations", says

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