This week, I read a great article on the Kristof blog called Girls in the Spotlight: A Lesson from Rwanda. It is the story of how two women from Seattle spearheaded efforts to build The Gashora Girls Academy, educating 90 secondary boarding students from around Rwanda.
The Gashora Girls Academy is a college preparatory school with a mission: each student should graduate with a sense of economic empowerment and a renewed commitment to her community. The academy will focus on science and technology, with an eye for equipping its girls with the knowledge and skills they need to participate in this vital growing sector of Rwanda’s economy. While so many young people around the world – especially girls – are denied the very basic right to education, the Gashora Girls Academy is a model for what it means to invest in a better future.
This story reminded me a lot of the work we’re doing to educate women in rural Nepal. While the school already exists, we’re building a hostel so that 40 girls have the opportunity to pursue higher secondary education. As in Rwanda, the real barrier to higher education is the cost of room, board, and annual tuition. Since the government in Nepal will pay for the teacher’s salaries, like in Rwanda, we are raising funds to first build the hostel and second, cover the costs of scholarships for each of the 40 girls living in our dorm.
Identical to The Gashora Girls Academy, we want the girls of the Everest Region in Nepal to thrive in an environment that fosters learning so that they can return to their communities, empowered, and create real change.