Dreaming isn’t an easy activity when options are limited. The only way to increase opportunity in our globally connected world is through the power of education. For many young women in the world, education is still a luxury and unattainable, with an estimated 62 million girls missing from the classroom. In 2010, the literacy gap in South Asia between men and women was 12.4%, while the global gap was only 5.2%. While the gap is closing globally, systemic choices to exclude girls from education will continue to place girls at a disadvantage in achieving their dreams.
In India, this is particularly true, as the country is known for its low education standards, especially for those who fall outside of the elite. Approximately half of rural schools don’t have toilets for girls, and only 48% of fifth grade students can read at a second grade level or answer a two-digit subtraction problem. If a person is allowed to pass by knowing only one-third of the information on an exam, is that person considered well educated or successful?
For the young women in the Mumbai Sanctuary, education is a growing priority, but remains a challenge as it competes for attention with earning money and solving immediate issues. Staff and interns teach English and support the young women in their pursuits, but when volunteer tutors fail to show, it creates a void.
The Academy will fill this void by expanding educational offerings and help the young women create obtainable goals based on their current education level and what they strive for in their futures. A lofty goal of The Academy is to raise the girls’ pass rates on standardized tests to 75% - more than 40% higher than the nationally accepted pass rate of 33%.
We can see the impact of education in the Sanctuary already, with one of our young women attending law school, and others dreaming of careers that require a university education. The Academy will provide more young women with opportunities to learn.
Join us in raising $35,000 this July for The Academy! Will you give a gift to help educate young women in Mumbai?
Written by: Alexis Miller, Development and Fundraising Coordinator