Jenet, who is 12 years old and lives in the Upper Region of Ghana, explained that she has to sell watermelons at the market to earn the money to buy her school uniform. Peace, 14 years old, a student in the Volta region also in Ghana, told us that because there are no lavatories at school, the little girls have to go behind the bushes near the building and this is a great embarrassment to them especially when they have their periods. This is why so many girls leave school when they reach puberty. Ayisa, who is 16, had completed her third year of lower middle school but had to leave because she was pregnant. Convinced that the father of the baby will marry her, Ayisa dreams of returning to school to become a nurse. These are just a few of the stories told by Plan Italia, a non-profit making organization for social assistance that launched the campaign Because I am a Girl, supported by Malala, to give instruction to four million girls for at least nine years. Fifty-two per cent of illiterate girls live in Sub-Saharan Africa, where four girls out of five receive no formal education. The little ones are left at home for a variety of reasons: domestic work, the lack of means, premature marriages. One study of Plan Italia mentions that illiterate girls are three times more likely to marry before the age of majority than those who have completed their secondary school studies.
St. Peter’s Square
Aug. 24, 2019
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