Since our founding in 2010, the Circle of Sisterhood has been removing barriers to education for girls and women around the world. From our grant award program to funding school construction projects, our donors and volunteers have dedicated themselves to making the world better for everyone by helping girls gain access to formalized learning.
We are thrilled to share a significant organizational milestone we reached this past spring. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the Circle of Sisterhood has granted more than $2 million in support of our mission. We are fortunate that our donors understand how critical it is to address the inequality and oppression facing girls and women worldwide. With two thirds of the world’s illiterate adults being women, the need for our work continues.
Our mission is more important today than ever before as the pandemic had an especially negative impact on girls. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural September 2021 factsheet:
“Following the COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented disruption to education, UNESCO estimates that 11 million girls may not return to school. Girls aged 12-17 are at particular risk of dropping out of school in low and lower-income countries…”
The pandemic has pushed millions of people back into poverty and closed schools all around the world. The research tells us that one essential component to equality is education. The book Half the Sky sums this up by saying:
“One study after another has shown that educating girls is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty. Schooling is often a precondition for girls and women to stand up against injustice, and for women to be integrated into the society.”
As we plan for Day of Giving 2022 on September 30th, we want to share a reminder of some sobering statistics from UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report:
- The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the largest disruption of education in history. At the peak of the pandemic in April 2020, schooling was disrupted for over 1.5 billion learners in more than 190 countries.
- About 40 percent of low and lower-middle and high-income countries have not taken any measures to support learners most at risk of exclusion during the COVID-19 crisis in 2020.
- The most marginalized, including girls with disabilities, those in conflict-affected contexts, remote and rural communities and those in the poorest quintile are expected to be most affected by COVID-related school closures, facing additional constraints on their ability to fulfill their right to education, health and protection, among other rights.
As the Circle of Sisterhood challenges pre-existing barriers to education and faces the new impacts on access from events of the past two years, we continue to need engagement from donors, friends, and community members. I hope the Circle of Sisterhood can count on your support as we contribute financially to those whose voices need amplification to provide them with a brighter and more equitable future. Let’s join together to be HEROES for the world’s girls and women.
Chair, Circle of Sisterhood