I give to Circle of Sisterhood because I know that my support helps to make education possible for women and girls around world who face poverty and oppression and my gifts get directly to women and girls who need and want to pursue a better life. It is my privilege to stand with other sorority women and help to transform lives through education.
More than ever, I know that the contributions of Circle of Sisterhood donors have a direct impact on the girls we serve. My trip last summer to Elena Maria, Nicaragua, with the Circle of Sisterhood showed me, first hand, the negative effects that poverty and a lack of access to education can have on a girl’s well-being.
While in the community of Elena Maria I got to know girls as young as Carla and Jeslyn (8 and 9) – girls who aspire to become teachers and I got to know women with established families like Maria and Rosa (middle below). What the older women understood about the school being built in their community was that education would provide opportunities for their children that they did not have.
When asked about her hopes for her children, Rosa commented, “For me, I want them to stay close. For them, I want them to go where they want.” Rosa knew that access to education would allow her children to go where they want and make choices in their lives that she was unable to make. Rosa talked about having to drop out of school at a very young age because there was no secondary school within walking distance of her community. Her regret was clear, but she was hopeful that girls like Carla and Jeslyn would have better opportunities.
Maria Mercedes (pictured below at the far left) is the only girl from Elena Maria who is attending secondary school. She walks 5 km to get to school and goes only twice a week. She knows that her education will allow her to have a better life and better employment opportunities.
We spent time with the children in their existing school and saw their enthusiasm for learning. When we asked questions like “What do you want to be when you grow up” many of the kids didn’t know how to answer. We realized that the concept of an adult profession outside of farming was not something that these children really considered for themselves.
After listening to the University of Missouri sorority women, who had come to their village to help them build a school, talk about what they were studying in school – nursing, social work, teaching, science – the kids opened up and shared their future aspirations – teachers, doctors, a priest and a singer were some of the responses.
Participating in a school build Trek is a life changing experience! It was my honor to work alongside a community of people who are devoted to providing a better life for their children through education. But one doesn’t have to go on a school build to help. The Circle of Sisterhood is granting fund to organizations and individuals in 17 countries and working every day to help remove barriers to education for women and girls.
CofS supports those who are devoted to the idea that by educating girls we make the world a better place. We know that educated women earn 25% more over their lifetime, invest that money into their families and begin to break the cycle of poverty that women and girls in developing parts of the world face. It gives me great joy to know that sorority women can align through Circle of Sisterhood and make a difference for women and girls.
Join me on #GivingTuesday in supporting girls and women around the world through Circle of Sisterhood.
Jeffrey, Haylie, Richard, Anjel, Carla – in school, studying English/Spanish lesson. The old school had dirt floor and holes in many of the walls.
Giselle – one of the youngest students – showing her math problems.