A staggering 62 million girls around the world are denied an education. Join our #ShareTheLight campaign to help transform their lives
It’s difficult to believe that in 2016 less than a third of children who attend school around the world are girls. Think of all that wasted potential. Being denied an education strips girls of the choice to decide their own futures, express their creativity, and perhaps most importantly, empower themselves by earning their own wage instead of being reliant upon men.
Every day, millions of girls are taken out of school and forced into domestic work or marriage, where they risk isolation and abuse. But education is vital: an educated girl is less likely to marry and to have children while she is still a child; she is more likely to be literate, healthy and survive into adulthood; ultimately, she is more likely to reinvest her income back into her family, community and country.
That’s why this month we’re launching an international education campaign with Marie Claire France, Italy and the Czech Republic. In partnership with our own International Marie Claire charity Toutes à L’école (Everyone in School), the global beauty brand L’Occitane and education charity Plan International UK, we’re aiming – with your assistance – to raise £300,000 to help girls across the world to overcome the barriers to education. Help us by buying our exclusive scented candle, the profits from which will be used to fund schools for girls.
‘For children everywhere, education provides the key to making something of their lives, regardless of where they’ve come from,’ says Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening, who is supporting our appeal. ‘When children can grow up and fulfil their potential, their countries can, too. A huge amount has been achieved globally, but we’ve got to keep going until every child, whoever they are and wherever they are, has the chance of a good education. Dedicated teachers helped to create my future, and I know they are the key to unlocking the future of children everywhere.’ Read on to find out more about the girls your money will be supporting.
The Happy Chandara school, located in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, offers high-quality education to girls from the poorest backgrounds with the aim of bringing them freedom and dignity. It was founded ten years ago by the former editor of Marie Claire France, Tina Kieffer, as part of her Toutes à L’école charity, after she adopted a little girl from Cambodia. Kieffer was struck by the lack of available education for girls in the country, which made them dependent on men and vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
The poor conditions (including a lack of toilets) of government schools in Pakistan, such as this one in Muzaffargarh district, are major factors in preventing girls from going to school. Parents are often reluctant for daughters to attend, preferring them to stay at home doing domestic work. Making the journey on foot can also be dangerous for girls on their own. Plan International is helping to rebuild, clean up and reopen 150 schools as part of their Back To School campaign.
The L’Occitane Foundation, the beauty brand’s charitable arm, supports many education projects, including this one in Burkina Faso, where the company harvests shea butter. The foundation runs literacy programmes, grants financial resources and offers entrepreneurial support for women. The idea is to empower girls and women through education and develop enterprises that drive them towards economic emancipation, so they are no longer reliant on men.
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Light up young lives and help us #ShareTheLight
Through education, we can transform girls’ lives, fight for gender equality and eradicate long-term poverty. Show your support by buying this special Marie Claire L’Occitane candle. All profits from every £8 candle bought will go to support the Toutes à L’école, Plan International and L’Occitane projects.
Get on board: follow the hashtag #ShareTheLight and buy a candle at L’Occitane.co.uk.
Read more about the #ShareTheLight campaign in Marie Claire’s October issue, out now