There is a group of people in the world today who are more persecuted than anyone else, but they are not political or religious activists. They are girls.
Being born a girl means you are more likely to be subjected to violence, disease, poverty and disadvantage than any other group on the planet. As each girl moves closer to coming of age, I AM A GIRL, a feature length documentary, reveals what it means to grow up female in the 21st century.
“Dear Intrepid Team,
Thank YOU for having such a generous impact on Bumi Sehat and our patients. Your group visits have been amazing”, writes Robin Lim, founder of Bumi Sehat, Indonesia. Bumi Sehat provide free maternal and infant health services in Bali and Aceh and The Intrepid Foundation is a proud supporter.
“It’s been a wonderful and challenging month at Bumi Sehat. We had a stillborn baby (no heartbeat at all at birth) 10 days ago, but after 33 minutes of neonatal resuscitation, the baby hung onto life. She is now gaining weight, and is breastfeeding well. Yesterday this baby girl, who I visited at home in Tagalalang, smiled at me – a real miracle!
Founder of Roupa Suja Project, a union of women who work to provide childcare, education, job training and assistance to people living in one of Rio’s largest slum, Marcia Ferreira da Costa is a fitting addition to our series on inspiring women…
“I was born in the favela of Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, in the mid 1960s. I was one of four daughters and we, along with my parents, lived in a very very poor house. It was in front of an open ditch. Every time it rained a lot we would lose everything, and this is something I’ll never forget. The ditch would overflow and inundate my house bringing rats and garbage. We needed to sleep in other people’s houses and keep our clothes in bags etc. But despite this hard situation, I also remember we were always happy as a family. We were very close.
Intrepid’s SAMA is proud to support a range of projects that use education to promote gender equality. And on these projects, we see many teachers championing for change. As part of our series of stories on inspiring women, meet Theresia Musoma, a teacher who works tirelessly to educate and help her community.
In the isolated town of Mabogini in Tanzania, Theresia Musoma teaches in a cramped, whitewashed classroom. Her love and dedication to her students has helped countless children finish school and inspired many others around her.
66% of work around the world is performed by women, but they earn a meagre 10% of the total income and own only 1% of the world’s property. These are just some of the inequalities faced by women and girls and an example of why Intrepid wants to promote international gender equality.
How are we doing this? Last year Intrepid created Project SAMA – which means ‘equal’ in the Bahasa language. SAMA is our 3-year global gender initiative that aims to improve the lives of communities and help bridge the gender gap through education. SAMA is supporting projects around the world that contribute to Intrepid’s overall aim of tackling gender inequality.
We all know that gender inequality exists in the world, but these BIG stats may shock you:
- 53 million girls in developing countries are denied access to primary school education.
- Out of the 1 billion people living in extreme poverty, 70% are women and girls.
- A girl without an education has a 90% chance of being poor and raising children who will also live in poverty.
With almost 3.5 billion women in the world, Intrepid has 3.5 billion BIG reasons to shine the spotlight on gender issues. That’s why Intrepid has started SAMA, a three-year global gender equality initiative. SAMA is working with Plan and The Intrepid Foundation to improve the lives of communities, bridge the gender gap and help break the cycle of poverty through education.
Women make a huge contribution to communities around the world, yet gender inequality remains one of our planet’s most pressing issues. Intrepid has joined the fight for gender equality and this is the first in a series of stories that feature inspirational Intrepid women. Introducing Sreykloeng Ouk, Chief Accountant in Intrepid’s Siem Reap office…
“I was born in 1983, after the notorious Pol Pot Regime. Between 1979-1989 there was civil war in Cambodia, with Government and Vietnamese troops trying to bring things under control and many areas still home to Khmer Rouge troops. There was poverty everywhere and many Cambodians lived in refugee camps along the border between Thailand and Cambodia. My family was one of them.
Like so many girls living in rural poverty in Cambodia, Wattana was forced to leave school in grade six to help support the nine people in her family. To make money, she cut wood for a pittance in a nearby forest. Wattana always knew she was capable of much more. So, when she heard that a Plan partner in a nearby town offered restaurant and tourism training, she decided it was precisely the opportunity she needed.
The course provided young people like her with hands-on training in restaurant and housekeeping services, and included office and English skills to help them get jobs in the Sala Bai tourist industry. However, the training involved an intensive, 12-month course away from home, and her mother believed this to be inappropriate, given Wattana’s gender. She thought her daughter should remain in the village like the other girls, cutting wood and getting married and raising children.
Up until a couple of years ago, most children aged between three and five in rural villages in Laos were not attending preschool. This was largely due to the lack of facilities, trained teachers and learning materials, but also because most parents in rural Laos didn’t understand the importance of early childhood education for children.
Education is a key pathway to breaking the cycle of poverty. As one of the least developed countries in the world, Plan, with the support of SAMA, is working in northern Laos to provide children aged 0-8 years with support for their development. This is being done through education for parents on health, early stimulation and learning, access to quality formal and informal preschool services, as well as school readiness for older children.