Is JBFC tapping into a “silver bullet” to end poverty?

June 22, 2012 4:13 pm Published by

JBFC’s mission began with reaching out to the girls that Tanzanian society and even other non-governmental organizations had forgotten or overlooked. We couldn’t stop with providing a safe, loving home for abandoned and abused girls. Once they were cared for, they needed to be educated. That’s why we started the Joseph & Mary Primary School.

According to UNICEF, Tanzania is succeeding when it comes to primary school participation, with 97 percent of Tanzanian children enrolled. And girls are actually doing slightly better than boys, with 82 percent of girls attending school compared with only 79 percent of boys.

But that success plummets dramatically when it comes to secondary school education.

Robert L. Galluci, the President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, recently wrote in his blog, *“The Power of Educating Girls:” 

Around the world, 35 million girls who should be in primary or secondary school are not; half of them are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Bank.”

In Tanzania, where we’ve achieved nearly universal primary school enrollment, UNICEF reports less than 1 in 4 Tanzania girls are attending secondary school.

Less than 1 in 4.

JBFC’s Joseph and Primary School expanded this year to add secondary school, so our students could continue their education beyond seventh grade.  This is a picture of our first class of secondary students.

More than half of them are girls.
In fact, the girls at our secondary school almost outnumber the boys 2 to 1.

All of our girls who completed seventh-grade went on to 8thgrade.

In Galluci’s words:

For those of us committed to addressing global poverty, improving education for girls may be the closest thing to a silver bullet. 

More education for girls brings well demonstrated benefits for them. Girls with higher levels of education marry later, have smaller families, survive childbirth at higher rates, experience reduced incidences of HIV/AIDS, have children more likely to survive to age five and earn more money.”

If it’s a silver bullet, JBFC seems to have tapped into a solution.

Again, Galluci:

Progress cannot come fast enough for girls and their communities in the developing world.

At JBFC, we couldn’t agree more.

* The Power of Educating Girls was originally published on Huffington Post on June 4, 2012.

Categorized in: , , , , ,

This post was written by Mainsprings