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The World Will Be Her Oyster

By the age of 10, I was still unable to communicate with my father’s side of the family because I didn’t speak English. I went to an average school where they tried to force me to be right handed, and generally squashed independent thought, thwarting my self-esteem as a budding girl. I assumed I’d never speak with my family without my father as translator.

My grandparents thought this unacceptable and from then on sponsored my education in a small, nurturing international school where I would learn English. The effects of that generosity vibrate within me everyday as the doors to the world flung open, allowing me to speak with you today. Regardless of family ties, the implications and impact someone’s generosity in the developed world has on a girl in the developing world will ripple across the globe as I use the results of this gift to help others.

Where I was fortunate, others are not. Poverty is a barrier to good education in Venezuela. This is especially problematic for girls, as they become tethered to the supply and demand chain shackling uneducated women to performing housework at very low wages. There is a racial divide there, a racism that breeds a classist society resembling a cast system, with lack of education at the root of the problem. Most are very young, and they’re not presented with Indigenous or Afro-Venezuelan female role models in the media. Their mothers do this work and their daughters follow in line, the cycle remains unbroken.

Something must be done to change these perspectives across the class/racial divide. I tried counseling a 16 y/o worker and my mom tried to teach her to read, but we were too little too late and she was pregnant before the age of 18. She spoke of a girl in her barrio (shanty town) who at 15 was chugging beers while pregnant with her second child, she was not the exception. I became resolute to attend film school and make sex-education films for them. But I now understand that real impact begins much sooner, with nurturing education from a very early age.

We’ve heard, “the revolution will be led by a 12 year-old girl” (girleffect.org). Yet can she do this without an education? I believe this revolution will be aided by the work of the women right here on World Pulse. The organization Seejane.org says, “If she can see it, she can be it,” we may not be making TV shows but we can demand better images women and girls in the media, and we ourselves can set the example of the power in strong educated women, so let’s be it so she can see it.

With so many seemingly insurmountable obstacles in the way of girls’ education, from sex trafficking to gender preferential treatment, an individual with limited time and funds may be at a loss about how to make a difference. Changing the media, laws, law-enforcement, creating campaigns to incentivize parents to send girls to school and eradicating poverty require large political movements. But there is something we can do right now.

This is a call to action inviting you to sponsor ONE girl’s education. If too expensive in your country, sponsor a girl in another country where your currency is worth more, there are many organizations online that make this easy. If too expensive, consider donating what you can. Or team up with friends to pool together the funds to sponsor one girl. Meet up with strangers at crowdfunding sites where you create the cause, and others help you fund it. Consider mentoring, tutoring whether through an established program or the girl next door. Donate school supplies, used books or glasses. Host a party and share your ideas to get others involved, use Facebook, use World Pulse!

We don't have to take on the impossible goal of creating a seed. All we need to do is plant it. Someone else can water it, another will fertilize, others can prune and soon enough we will all enjoy the fruits of this combined labor. The significance of the gift will not only transform her world, her attitude towards life and herself, but will awaken a desire to give back as she has received. It has the power to spark an interest in “the other,” in people from afar, people who are different, for it was someone far away that made that gift possible and an interest in other cultures and helping each other regardless of race or heritage will be solidified.

Gratitude will flow, creating a riverbed of peace.

The world will be her oyster, and she will be it’s pearl.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
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Comments

LisaXi's picture

Very touching, moving, and

Very touching, moving, and motivating. Thank you for sharing.

radiocami's picture

Thank you!!! I hope it will

Thank you!!! I hope it will inspire at least one person to take action, and I appreciate you reading my post.

valerie camila rhodes

IamTruth's picture

Great Post!

I really enjoyed reading this post, and I definitely HEARD your call to action. Great, great suggestions. Change seems impossible sometimes, however, It doesn't take a whole lot to make a difference. Just as one small ripple changes the surface of the water, a small act of kindness goes a long way.

Keep lifting your voice.

Sincerely,

IamTruth

Thank your for the inspering story and being able to share it mean alot.
Enjoyed beigb here
Ola

It is never too late to try make your way to your dream and left up your expectation.
Sudanes Women Building Peace
www.suwepmovement.org

The analogy of planting a seed to that of educating someone is very nicely used. You have a talent to write.
Donating is a gratifying act. I hope many people will follow your suggestion.

Wish you all the best

Salaam
Aminah

Deqa's picture

WOW!!!

Your piece is marvelous and it sheds light on the root causes of inequality and the solution u laid out is well clear and I am inspired by you. I love your writing style and its simply superb.

Keep up the good work my dear and your grandparents would definitely be proud to see the amazing young lady they have nurtured.
You articulate quite beautifully my dear I wish someday I could write like you.

Love
Deqa

radiocami's picture

Thank you, Thank you, Thank

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you All for your lovely and inspiring comments! It means a lot to me.

;)

valerie camila rhodes

Khaiwana's picture

Keep up the good work

Everyone has said it all, this is just great work.

EmmaKWin's picture

Thank you so much for sharing

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and call to action. I love your description of your vision of change--small actions definitely can change the world through the ripple effect! Your clear, concise writing make your ideas come across strong and demonstrate your leadership potential.

-Emma

radiocami's picture

Thank you so much Emma!! I

Thank you so much Emma!! I see you're a grant writer so I'm very humbled by your praise of my writing! And I'm also very exited, I've never been more ready to take on a leadership role as I am now, I've never felt this sure about what I am to lead about. So much so, that I just may have secured an interview with the author of the book I quoted in my final article!! I sure hope to get in in order to have a platform on which to share that information!
THANK YOU!

valerie camila rhodes

EmmaKWin's picture

Valerie, That is exceptional

Valerie,

That is exceptional news! I wish you the best! What are you planning on speaking with the author about? I'd love to hear how it goes.

Best,
Emma

radiocami's picture

Hello Everyone! If you or

Hello Everyone!

If you or anyone you know would like to follow up and sponsor a girl's education, there's a wonderful organization doing this in South Sudan that I would like to recommend. Please share this info in your online social circles so we can help sponsor the 33 girls in school this year at Marial Bay Secondary School.

You can find them here:

http://valentinoachakdeng.org/

This school was started and is run by the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, and Valentino himself was a war refugee in Sudan.

Thank you all, and Onwards!

valerie camila rhodes

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