Education. It’s something I took for granted for a large part of my adolescence. Skipping class, and receiving low grades was something I felt proud of. The more classes I missed, the cooler I felt. Being a “cool kid” in my insecure, ignorant perspective, meant proving to the rest that being educated wasn’t important.
Looking back at my attitude towards education, I cringe on the inside. In all honesty, it breaks my heart that I took my education for granted during high school, and it’s one of my biggest regrets.
Fortunately, I grew out of that phase, and continued my studies going on to college. The sad reality however, is this doesn’t come as easy to everyone, particularly, those living in under-developed countries. In fact, citizens of these under-developed countries would do anything to receive an education. Take Malala Yousafzai for example, a global citizen who won the nobel peace prize because she stood up for girl’s education. Malala is living proof that education is something girls would literally die for and a hero to millions.
As a mother to three girls, I strive to teach them gratitude. We are so fortunate and privileged to live in a country where education is free.
For this reason, the only way I could teach my daughters not to take their education for granted, was to give them some global awareness to the best of my ability.
In October, I was given the opportunity to be a part of the fundraising committee for One Girl Can-a registered charity based out of Vancouver that provides educational opportunities to impoverished girls living in highly marginalized areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.
This has been one of the bests way I feel I can model to my children the importance of giving back.
It’s been a pleasure showing my daughters photos of the girls schools One Girl Can has built, along with photos of these girls raising their hands and holding up signs of what they would like to be in the mentoring programs. This has evoked engaging conversation surrounding girls education, philanthropy, and of course what they would like to be.
On April 21st, help One Girl Can make a difference and raise funds for 500 girls in Kenya at their second annual #Iwant2be fundraiser on April 21st at 6pm at the Imperial in Vancouver (325 Main Street) presented by TD Bank, and AG Hair. Tickets are $65 and are available for purchase online.
The evening will feature One Girl Can’s Founder and CEO of AG Hair Lotte Davis- Lotte Davis, originally a native of Africa herself, will share her story of how the question ‘What do you want to be?’ inspired her to start One Girl Can. Through scholarships and education, One Girl Can gives young African women a voice and empowers them to make positive changes in society. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold by Lotte and her husband John’s company, AG Hair, has contributed to building schools in Africa since 2008.
Local TV celebrity Fiona Forbes from Shaw TV Vancouver will be the MC of the evening. The evening will also include a silent auction with some of Vancouver’s top brands, and a live auction including two African Safaris. In addition, guests will enjoy a complimentary drink, canapes, and a gift bag from AG hair, valued at $68.
“Educating women is the only known cure for ending poverty,” says One Girl Can’s Lotte Davis. “In one short evening, we can raise enough money to effect sustainable change in literally hundreds of lives, and slowly start to shift the needle on gender imbalance and poverty in Africa.”
Last year the inaugural #IWant2Be – One Girl Can event raised $100,000. We aim to double that this year with proceeds going directly to help build or refurbish 4 dormitories and 3 washroom facilities for students at Ganze Girls Secondary School in Kenya. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest dropout rate of girls in secondary school due to poverty and cultural norms that favour education for boys over girls.100% of the girls enrolled in this school board here, because the risk of them not returning once they go back to their villages is extremely high.
Anyone unable to attend the event can still support by donating funds to buy key necessities for One Girl Can students, including a mattress, bunk bed, a toilet or a shower stall. Visit https://www.iwant2be.eventbrite.ca to purchase tickets or to make a donation.
We’ve been busy planning every last detail to make this a night you will definitely remember! I hope to see some of you there!