You’re a burden.

You won’t get an education.

Want to know why?

You’re just a girl.

For girls from rural areas, staying in school is nothing but a challenge. All the money spent on a girl’s education is often considered a waste. Girls face discrimination from the moment they’re conceived throughout education, health, marriage and employment. After all, her job is to be an obedient wife and a good mother. That’s basically it.

When a girl turns 12 and lives in poverty, her future quickly slips out of her control. It’s common for her to be married off by the age of 14 and a mother within the next year or so.

DSC03190

But when she’s able to stay in school, using her education to earn a living, she gets to call the shots. And when she’s eventually ready to marry and have children, her children can be healthy and educated like she is.

Can you imagine this pattern continuing for generations upon generations to come? Fifty million 12-year-old girls in poverty equals fifty million solutions. Fifty million chances at a better life.

World leaders promise us that we can achieve gender equality by 2030, but at our current rate, this will take more than 100 years. What happens to the girls that have to wait 100 years for equality and an education?

It’s one thing to believe girls are just as deserving of opportunities as the boys, but it’s another to actively strive toward breaking down structures that keep opportunities from being a reality.

What if every Indian village girl knew her value? What if she knew she was truly fearfully and wonderfully made? A foundation of education gives confidence, breathes life, dreams and a future. The way our girls’ eyes light up as they dream and say, “I’m going to be a teacher!” and “I’d like to be a doctor!” will change the world.. just as much as any boy could.

IMG_0173IMG_0326

IMG_0181

IMG_0177