Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Gift of Education - Help me Celebrate my Milestone Birthday

Our house is a hive of activity weekday mornings as three kids are hustled to get washed, dressed and fed on time to get my eldest to primary school and my two year old to peuterspeelzaal two mornings a week. Some mornings I wish the school run didn't exist. But of course it's a fleeting thought because I know it's a small hassle for a big reward. I also know that my kids are lucky to live in a country where education is not just a right but is actually compulsory.

In some countries children, particularly girls, have a battle on their hands to even start school, let alone stay in school and complete their education. The thing is that in developing countries an education makes a huge difference to a child's life. It really does make their future, and their children's future rosier. And that's why when a milestone birthday blipped on my radar I decided I wanted to pledge it to Camfed.

Gretchen Rubin advocates "find your Calcutta" in her book Happier at Home. She is referring to finding a cause that stirs you, that calls you to action, that motivates you to get up and do something to help. I guess you could call female education in developing countries my Calcutta.

In eleven days I turn 40 and I don't need anything. I am incredibly lucky. On top of that I have years of education behind me. My parents encouraged me to get as much education as I could whilst I could. It opened doors for me and set me on the path I am currently on.  As a mother I will encourage my three boys too to go as far with their education as possible. Because they can and because education does make a difference. More so in countries where education is not a right but a privilege.

Camfed reports that if you educate a girl in Africa she'll:
  • Earn up to 25% more and reinvest 90% in her family.
  • Be three times less likely to become HIV-positive.
  • Have fewer, healthier children who are 40% more likely to live past the age of five.

 So you see education does make a difference. But it's a privilege which needs support: financial support, support from the local community and cheers from the sideline. So this is me cheering from the sideline!

I would love to be able to raise £300 - that's enough to buy all the essentials to keep 20 children in school for a year in rural Africa. Just £15 ensures a year's education for a child who's life is transformed by this precious schooling. So, help me celebrate my 40th birthday and pop over to my fundraising page and donate whatever you can - every donation helps, no matter the amount.

Thank you.