AFTER EBOLA: STREET CHILD ANNOUNCES 2000+ GIRL CONSULTATION ON ADOLESCENT FEMALE EDUCATION IN SIERRA LEONE
At an event to mark the UN Day of the Girl Child, Street Child of Sierra Leone’s Country Director, Kelfa Kargbo, announced a major Street Child consultation exercise on issues affecting the education of adolescent girls in Sierra Leone – pledging to meet with over 2000 girls in a nationwide process.
In a moving address, which can be read in full here, Kelfa clearly articulated the issue,
“How can it be right that when you look at the early classes of any primary school, you see roughly equal numbers of boys and girls, but by the time you look at a Senior Secondary School . . . you can frequently see boys outnumbering girls by 2:1 or more?
"When we know that the benefits of educating a girl are massive. They earn more – an extra 15% for every year of school completed according to reports; they spend it on the family; they have less children, later, and are more likely to ensure that they are immunized and educated properly. The list goes on”.
Kelfa laid bare why he felt there was a superb and unique ‘post-Ebola’ opportunity to press on this issue, saying that, despite the entrenched nature of some of the challenges facing girls education, “One thing we have learned in Ebola is that everything can change – even things we previously thought untouchable: burial customs, other rituals, greetings and so much else”.
The exercise will be quick. Street Child undertake to issue a report in November.
Kelfa made clear that this process was material, “. . . [it] will be the prelude to Street Child putting the education of adolescent girls at the forefront of our post-Ebola strategy”.