From Autumn 2013, staff at the Holiday Inn in Kingston are inviting their staying guests to 'opt in' to helping bright girls in the Commonwealth gain an education.
As Mr Gagan Sharma, General Manager, said, " At the Holiday Inn London – Kingston South, we are committed to supporting our local community and charitable causes close to our hearts. The hotel is pleased to partner with the CCLEF, an International Charity that makes a real impact in some of the most impoverished areas of the world. With the support of our guests we want to make an even bigger difference to young, gifted women living in poverty in the Commonwealth."
And on behalf of the girls who will benefit from this campaign, the CCLEF says a BIG THANK YOU to everyone at the Holiday Inn Kingston.
Holiday Inn London – Kingston South Portsmouth Road, Surbiton, Surrey KT6 5QQ
The Case for Educating Girls
The need to improve access to secondary education for girls remains an important issue in the 21st century. The population trends, education gaps and the ripple effect of educating girls indicate the importance and benefits of educating girls, especially through secondary school.
Population trends: Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world. More than one-quarter of the population in Asia, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa are girls. The population of young women aged 10 to 24 is expected to increase by 2020.
Educational Gaps: Approximately one-quarter of girls (over 70 million) in developing countries are not in school.
Ripple Effect of educating girls: Research in developing countries shows a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers. Where education levels are higher among women, family size is smaller and women’s health and economic status are stronger; and in settings where education is more gender equitable, economic growth is more robust.
Child Marriage and Early Childbirth: One out of seven girls in developing countries marries before age 15; 38 percent marry before age 18. In addition, one-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in developing countries each year and most of them have complications during child-birth. With regards to health, research shows that 75 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds living with HIV in Africa are female. This figure has risen from 62 percent in 2001.
- International Center for Research on Women, Girls’ Education, Empowerment and Transitions to adulthood: The case for a shared agenda, (2012) www.icrw.org/
- Population Reference Bureau, DataFinder database, http://www.prb.org/datafinder.aspx; accessed January 20, 2011
- Population Council, “Transitions to Adulthood: Child Marriage/Married Adolescents,” www.popcouncil.org/ta/mar.html; updated May 13, 2011
Good News from Swaziland
From a young girl hoping for an education, to a lovely woman with a bright future...
Nomfundo's former head teacher reports, "You will be delighted to know that Nomfundo has been an absolute star! She was our Head Girl in 2011 and finished the year with a Distinction. She was partially responsible for our school being listed in the top twenty schools of the country!
She personally came up and greeted me at the local Steers' Steak House where she was waitressing last year and told me she was waiting to be accepted into 'Varsity which started in September 2012. I have since heard that she was accepted and is receiving a Government subsidy to study at our University. I am not sure which course she is doing, but it sounded as though it was along bio-technical lines.
She is a lovely young lady - quite tall and graceful with a delightful personality - and I am sure she will go far. What a blessing that she was able to finish her schooling."
The 2013 Fair Committee is delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs Dorothy Danso-Boafo, wife of the High Commissioner for Ghana, as the Commonwealth Fair Chairwoman.
Mrs Danso-Boafo has been in London since 2009 and Ghana has been actively involved in the Fair for many years.
In 2013, the Education Fund supported 18 girls from Ghana, mainly in the north of the country.
Former Speaker in the House of Commons, Baroness Betty Boothroyd, and the first Asian woman to be given a peerage, Baroness Shreela Flather, started a campaign to enroll 1000 secondary schools across the UK to an initiative “1000 schools for 1000 girls” set up by The Commonwealth Girls Education Fund (formerly the CCLEF). Each UK school that enrolls will encourage each of their pupils to raise one pound a year.
A school of 500 pupils will raise £500 a year, which will be enough money to send one or more girls in a Commonwealth country such as Bangladesh, Belize or Ghana to school for a year. By enrolling 1000 schools, the aim is to raise enough funds to put at least 1000 girls in the developing world through secondary school.
Thirteen UK schools have already expressed a desire to enroll and the organisers hope that the target of 1000 UK secondary schools will soon be reached. The initiative was launched in the House of Commons Jubilee room by its Patron Baroness Flather, the first Asian woman to receive a peerage.
Former speaker of the House of Commons, Baroness Betty Boothroyd, and Nick Boles, Parliamentary Private Secretary to Schools Minister Nick Gibb who was representing the Minister of State for Education Mr. Michael Gove, both spoke passionately about how the initiative can change lives and communities in the developing world. A number of secondary schools from across the UK were in the audience.
What is the programme all about?
School children in the UK are vehicles for change!
In 1988, the students of Burntwood School in Wandsworth, South West London were touched by the plight of Ladi, a girl from a large polygamous home in North Central Nigeria. Ladi’s father had died, leaving three wives and many children with no means of livelihood. At that time, Ladi was selling bean cake and child-minding before having to walk 20km to and from school in a bid to get an education.
These school children, some of whom were from economically disadvantaged backgrounds themselves, in an unbelievable spirit of generosity offered to support Ladi and Beatrice, another girl with a similar plight. They raised money through a variety of ingenious and fun activities to ensure that their peers in these faraway countries have a chance at a better life.
Ladi went on to put herself through University and now holds a Masters Degree as well as chartered credentials in Management. Over the years she has sponsored and supported a number of girls through secondary school in her home country, giving real meaning to the the saying ’…support a girl and you support a family, community and a country.’