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2005-07-30 at 11:10:00 am #12158
As Americans, we know that education is the key to opportunity. In many parts of the world, education can also be the key to survival and a hopeful future.
In Uganda, young people who make it to secondary school are three times less likely to get AIDS, and experts say that worldwide, access to a good basic education could even prevent 700,000 HIV cases every year. Yet, over 100 million children are not in school around the world. Can you believe that 46 million children are out of school in Africa alone – more than all the children in primary school in the entire United States – and that more than half are girls?
The good news is that, working in partnership with poor countries, we can make a difference. The U.S. recently announced an expansion of a program to help get girls into school, eventually helping 300,000 more kids go to school and 500,000 more teachers get trained. This is a good step, but as these scholarships affect less than 1% of those out of school in Africa, there is so much more than can and must be done. For example, debt cancellation from the U.S. and other countries helps nations like Tanzania get rid of school fees that keep kids out of school, and as a result, primary school enrollment has doubled!
When we invest in one area, it pays off in others. Just sending a child to school helps boys and girls live longer, have healthier families, prevent diseases like HIV/AIDS, get better jobs and earn more money – lifting up their families, their communities and eventually their countries. All kids have dreams, they just need the tools to make them real. We all know that when children thrive, families succeed and countries prosper.
More and better international assistance – targeted to help the people who need it – allows people living in poverty to improve their own lives, in a way that will last. With careful choices and careful monitoring, we can also strengthen fragile democracies. And with the right investment of American compassion, we can lead other countries to do their share to help the world’s poorest people. Together as ONE, we can change the world – one student, one teacher, one school at a time.
The ONE Team
P.S. Learn about how a dedicated village in Djibouti got 100% of its children into school, an AIDS orphan in Ghana got her education, visit a village school in Africa, and read more at the ONE.ORG Blog.