Towards the Girl-Child Upliftment

Rahama Obadak
Marketing & Comms, Flexisaf

Wonder why there is so much buzz about girl child education and why people stress over it so much? Why is it that even celebrities and people of higher influence advocate humanitarian acts to ensure that little girls all over the world get basic needs that will help them have a better life?
In this piece you will be enlightened on the little things that can make monumental changes here on earth. For an abundance of evidence that will back the afore statement…
Take for instance a scenario where two girls -one educated (Pi) and the other (Ann) pulled out of school to help with housework- are at the same stage in life. They happen to meet a dubious fellow who clearly wants to take advantage of them. Now Pi knows better because she has been through several classes that have educated her on what to look out for, and if she is in a sticky...

The past few months have been quite interesting;

  • September was National Sickle Cell Awareness month.
  • October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
  • November came along with White Ribbon day, National Adoption day, World Diabetes & Dyslexia Weeks, Anti Bullying Week and
  • December was World AIDS Awareness Month! All around the world these were issues of global concern at different times.

Pi walks towards the door of her dorm room and notices a bunch of flyers at her feet. She bends to pick them up and almost automatically recites some of the words she has heard and seen countless times all semester. Around school over the PA system, in her emails, extra curricular activity meetings, on TV or the Radio -simply everywhere! She bundles the flyers, folds them and puts them in her pocket then makes her way to the supermarket. It had rained the previous night so she figured it would be nice to take a short walk. As she takes in the environment she decides to take a different route to town, taking a shortcut through an old neighbourhood. Suddenly a pregnant woman screaming runs into her with so much force and they both fall hard onto the ground. Pi got up and helped the lady -half irritated and half concerned. As she looked closer at the face she realized it was her childhood friend and old neighbour Ann!
warning signs, risk awareness, type, prevention and care.

Ann cautiously steps over the sleeping bodies and goes out the door of a small one bedroom face-me I face-you apartment. She starts her day by going to the kitchen to make breakfast for the little ones still sleeping. It had rained the previous night so she would have to use something to fuel the fire. A stack of flyers she had been receiving comes to mind and she hurriedly fetches them and throws them in the slow-but-growing fire. After an hour breakfast is ready and the kids are almost out of the house.
Someone grunts inside the room and yells her name in an urgent tone. She hurriedly sends five children on their way to school and returns to the room. Instinctively she wraps her hand round her belly and answers. A figure emerges from the worn out covers and commands for some food. She, knowing very well how this conversation will go starts to back out of the room as she explains there is none left. The angry figure staggers towards her and showers blows all over her. Ann runs out of the house screaming and unseeingly crashes into the arms of a frail lady. It was her childhood friend and old neighbour Pi!

Ann and Pi used to be best of friends known by everybody in that neighbourhood once upon a time. Separated when Pi's parents moved to a better area all the way across town. Along the line certain things that came with the territory for Pi were an unafforadle luxury for Ann. Going to school made Pi an outspoken, proactive and all-round educated young woman. The reverse was the case for Ann as she suffered the trials of a hard knock life without much help from anyone. Orphaned by AIDS at the tender age of 10 she practically had to hawk her family of five into a substandard way of life.
If Ann had had the priviledge of going to school she would have understood what the advocates were saying or at least been able to acknowledge with a nod or a word and then gone back to the flyers they constantly left behind day after day to educate herself about their mission. Why were they always coming to the women in the neighbourhood? They were part of something big, something that mattered, she was sure, but just couldn't understand what it was. Instead all she could do was to gather those flyers and informative pamphets and use them as fuel for the fire she starts every morning to make food for her five children.
Ann could not read those flyers to understand how to empower herself with skill acquisition programs funded by some organization. She couldn't understand what the adoption papers said when those couple came along to talk to her. She didn't understand which foods are bad for her Diabetes even when the posters on the street she hawks her stuff on captured them in an attractive manner. Neither has she figured out that two of her children are being bullied in school because they have Dyslexia and not because they are "stupid".

December is world AIDS Month and those advocates are going to start trooping in with their flyers all across town. The TV and Radio stations will not shut up about it either so help girls like Ann understand the message being passed across. If we do this we can save the plummeting economic growth of a country. We can help save lives by educating females on how to better take care of themselves, their children and lead better lives. Think clearly with apt knowledge of their rights in mind so no one will take advantage of them. To speak up in cases of domestic violence and not be subject to a constant demeaning way of life. And overall reduces the effects of climate change and natural disasters -think about that.

What if the cure to cancer was in a girl's head that didn't go to school?
They say if you educate a woman you educate a whole nation.
Do you now see the importance of basic education and how it can change the world?