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Change the World: Educate a Girl
$2,655 raised
106% of $2.5k goal
35 contributors
3 Years running
If you want to change the world, educate a girl. For each year of a girl's education, her wages increase by 10-20%. The entire economic standing of her community increases, as educated women and girls reinvest 90% of their income into their ...

If you want to change the world, educate a girl. For each year of a girl's education, her wages increase by 10-20%. The entire economic standing of her community increases, as educated women and girls reinvest 90% of their income into their families, compared to 30% for men. Educating girls saves lives; a child whose mother can read is 50% more likely to live past age five. 

For these reasons and so many more, I ask you to join my husband Nick and me in supporting the Women's Institute for Secondary Education and Research (WISER)—the first all-girls boarding school in Muhuru Bay, Kenya—in advance of its first-ever graduation day on March 7th. Your donations will go directly to the NGO, which works holistically to improve education, health, and economic outcomes for girls and for the entire Muhuru Bay community.

To learn more about my involvement with WISER, read the story below. Our goal is to raise $2,500 before graduation day. Thank you for your support!

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In the summer of 2006, I traveled to Muhuru Bay, Kenya—a rural village on the shores of Lake Victoria—with a professor from Duke, a professor from Egerton University in Kenya, and a team of Duke students. Our goal was to find out why, in almost twenty years, not a single girl from Muhuru Bay had gone on to college, while boys went every year.

Through conversations with community leaders, families of female students, and male and female students themselves, we learned that deeply entrenched gender inequality was the number one obstacle girls faced to attaining education in Muhuru Bay. And the problem, of course, was very complex. “Should I stop having sex with the man who is paying my school fees?” one girl asked. “I am afraid of getting AIDS.”

Out of these conversations (and a much longer partnership between Duke and the Muhuru Bay community) arose an idea: a boarding school for girls that would work to improve educational, economic, and health outcomes for girls while promoting community-wide enhancements in health and development. In 2007, WISER was officially formed as an NGO.

I won’t tell the whole story here (you can read more about it here, watch a new video here, or watch a really old one I made here), but almost seven years later, and after staying involved with WISER throughout my years at Duke and beyond, I am thrilled to be returning to Muhuru Bay with my husband Nick to attend the first-ever WISER graduation. I can’t wait to see the joy on the faces of the graduating girls—some of whom I met in Muhuru in 2006—as they receive their first diplomas, celebrate with their families and community, and prepare to go to college and become leaders committed to social change in Muhuru Bay and beyond.

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