Across the globe, students stocked up on fresh supplies and caught up with old classmates last week. But for 31 million girls, there were no teachers to meet, no first-day jitters to quell and no new homework to get cracking on.
As I entered the hut, I paused. Pulling the end of my dupatta (piece of cloth used by women to cover their chest and head), I wiped off perspiration from my brow. Mariam came forward to greet me and holding my hand, led me inside her hut.
Up until two months ago, 13-year-old Sangita Devi had never set foot in a school. She grew up in a household in India where she and her older sister assumed all of the responsibilities while her two brothers were in school.
Half of the world’s out-of-school children live in conflict-affected areas. Getting those children back to school can save their lives, their health – and their futures.
They expected her to stay home until she got married. She chose school instead.
As the oldest daughter of a poor family in a rural Indian farming community, Laxmi, age 12, was destined to do housework, watch after her four younger siblings and marry at age 14.
This ‘burden’ said no to child marriage, and demanded an education instead.
It was all arranged, even the dowry.
This ‘Disposable’ Girl Became The Most Educated Person in Her Village.
She was a top student. Now, violence and bullying keep her from school.
Raghad, age 11, should be in 5th grade, but hasn’t been to school in two-and-a-half years because she and her family have had to move so many times during the Syrian conflict.