HOME

NEWS

CHARITIES

VOLUNTEER

ACTION CENTER

ADD CHARITY

CONTACT

SUPPORT

World Environment Community Health Animals Celebrity Submit A Site Find A Charity
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira promotes girls' education in India

By Sarah Crowe, UNICEF (press release)

1280 days ago   Article ID# 1319899
Original URL

 

United Nations Children's Fund

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (UNICEF (press release)) - Their worlds could hardly be more different – Shakira, the pop superstar and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, 34, independent, sassy, a household name – used to the glitz and glamour of the world stage. And a group of poor, young Rajasthani girls – four of them already married off before they turned 11; all of them the first females in their families ever to be educated.

First it was all sweetness and smiles for the diminutive megastar, draped in garlands of marigolds and blessed with the traditional tika. The girls performed for the performer, but the essence of the visit was serious and stark.

“Many of them get married really young and that is part of their culture, though it’s not legal in India, sometimes we can’t fight culture but we can fight poverty,” said Shakira.

In a country where nearly half of all girls are married before they’re 18, Rajasthan has one of the highest numbers of child brides in India with 74 per cent of girls getting married off before they turn 18. The cause is complex but the low value of girls have in society is largely to blame; the burden of dowry and poverty is another curse. Girls themselves are seen as a liability, the property of their in-laws, so the drop-out rate from school remains high.

An equity approach

Shakira’s aim as a global megaphone for education is to convince the powerful and mighty of the inherent dividend of educating girls.

“Girls’ education is proving to increase economic growth and it is proven that every year of investment in primary education on girls generates or increases the income in wages in their future lives by ten to twenty percent, its usually five percent more than for boys - and every year in secondary education, it increases their wages, when they are adult by 25 per cent I think - so it is a good deal for the state to invest in their education especially because they grow fast, kids grow fast - and they will bring returns to the state, so it’s not charity, it’s an investment,” she said.

The girls were from the Kasturba Gandhi Ballika Vidalaya (KGBV) residential education scheme outside Udaipur. In a country of deep paradoxes and divisions along class, caste, tribe and gender, the KGBV programme, supported by UNICEF, essentially adopts an equity approach by aiming to keep girls in residential schools, in their most vulnerable years of 11-14, where they’re educated, fed, clothed and cared for in a safe environment.

In hostel schools, the first generation of girls in their communities are getting an education are less likely to drop out of school , less likely to be forced into labour and more likely to be healthy and later have healthy children. Much hope is pinned on India’s Right to Education Act bringing about change faster and boosting a new generation of learners and girls.

Life still on the edge

For four of the girls who met Shakira, their lives are still on the edge though. None of them were even 14 years old, but all of them are already married. And although they’ll only go and live with their young husbands and in-laws once they reach puberty, they said they felt robbed of choice:

“We are still kids but land up having children, we can't even finish our studies, it feels bad,” said 13-year-old Santosh Gadri who was married at 10 at the same wedding ceremony as her older sister to save costs. Santosh had dropped out of school at the time but since she was enrolled in the KGBV school in Mavli block, district Udaipur, she’s started to flourish.

Ironically, despite all, all four of the girls dream big dreams – all wanted to become doctors and teachers but were aware that for now, those were just that, dreams. Meeting the mega star, a young woman who made it big, and mimicking her moves boosted the girls, beyond their dreams, knowing that Shakira will use her voice to talk about their lives on the global stage.

Copyright 2015 UNICEF (press release)   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 1280 days ago   Article ID# 1319899

United Nations Children's Fund    View Charity Profile    Visit Website

More Unite For Children News

Preventing malaria in South Sudan, one net at a time

3 hours ago From unicef.org 

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK - ...

In Tanzania, UNICEF working to halt cholera outbreak among Burundian refugees

2 days ago From un.org 

MANHATTAN, NEW YORK - ...

Virender Sehwag supports UNICEF's 'babiesneedyou' campaign

3 days ago From bignewsnetwork.com 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - ...

Russia to donate $2Mln for UNICEF to fight ebola in West Africa

4 days ago From sputniknews.com 

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - ...

Song Joong Ki makes a donation to help earthquake victims

5 days ago From kdramastars.com 

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - ...

Go to page:   1    2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  Next >> 

<< Return To Celebrity News

Action Center

Stable ice cover in Southern Antarctic peninsula thawing fast

Action: Climate Change

After the recent reports of Larsen C ice shelf melting and showing signs of weakness, new research paper has suggested that g ...

Tell top Obama officials to meet with the tribes over grizzly protection

Action: Wildlife Conservation

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to push to end federal protection for grizzlies that live in and around Yellowst ...

These forests are about to start disappearing

Action: Stop Deforestation

Environmental group WWF has released a new report projecting where the organisation believes the bulk of global deforestation ...

Keep California's rivers clean and clear of mining

Action: Stop Pollution

Suction dredge mining has been a scourge in California for years. This form of mining peppers rivers and streams with platoon ...

Stop the Navy's plan to bomb a pacific paradise

Action: Save Our Oceans

As part of a larger move to expand war training in American waters and territories throughout the world, the U.S. Navy is pla ...

View All Actions >>

 

 

Charities

News

Follow Us

Support

Find A Charity

Action Center

World

Community

Facebook

Twitter Support

Contact

Volunteer

Add A Site

Environment

Animals

Google+

Privacy Policy

Copyright

 

 

Health

Celebrity

Terms of Service

Copyright © The Charity Vault All rights reserved.