“A girl shouldn’t marry until she’s at least 18”

Today’s post is a bit different than usual, but I wanted to share some powerful stories with you that have made me more appreciative of my education + inspired me to help where I can. I hope you’ll take a second to read it, or to click through and read more directly from their site. Often I am so caught up in my little world of taking care of my small family and this was a powerful reminder that there are greater needs and a way I can meet them. If its not in the cards for you to contribute right now, think about sharing, because maybe someone you know would love to help.

I got married at twenty, the summer between my sophomore and junior year of college. Laxmi risks being married off by the age of 14, with no chance of even going to middle school.

I’m the oldest of four, and I remember a few Friday nights where I didn’t get to go to a sleepover because I needed to stay home and babysit. Laxmi was kept out of school for years because, as the oldest, she needed to tend to her younger siblings.

Lucky for Laxmi, she was able to attend UDAAN, a CARE funded school which provides education for girls who have been kept out of school, catching them up, so they are able to go to mainstream school after 11 months. They teach girls to demand education, speaking out against early marriage. Laxmi says, “Now I feel I can tell anyone that a girl shouldn’t marry until she is at least 18. When a girl is educated she then educates three families — her parents, her in-laws, and eventually her own kids.”

I’m not headed back to school this fall but I’ve been pretty excited about fall fashion, my sister starting college, and some new courses I’m working on. But its been a wonderful reminder (and by wonderful I mean sobering, inspiring, and tear-jerking), how many girls around the world can be empowered by an education. And how a little bit from me goes a long way.

Did you know: – Children born to literate moms are 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5?

31 million girls are currently out of school. Last year CARE helped provide over 6 million children with secondary education or technical training. And this year they’re trying to help even more.

Learn more at CARE.com – it was fascinating learning about the various barriers to education these girls face, and the different ways CARE is helping overcome them. They also have a neat gift brochure where you can select what you want your donation to fund. Maybe its school uniforms, school fees, or a blackboard. There’s also culturally appropriate sportswear (that its hard to imagine playing sports in), a water/hand-washing station, and training on birth preparedness. 
I hope you are all having a wonderful long weekend and take a minute to spend some time on their site and see what you can do to help. Even if your budget is tight and donating isn’t in the cards, share this post because maybe someone else can. Laxmi will be grateful. And so will I.

  **photos provided by CARE

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