Giving Tuesday has been gaining momentum and for good reason. The Giving Tuesday official website summarizes it as: "We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back." Basically, it's a day to give generously and to spread the word about it.
In the Western world we take for granted the ability to receive an education. As we learned when Malala Yousefzai was shot, girls in other parts of the world face tremendous challenges when pursuing an education. Lack of resources (sometimes even the basics, like toilets), violence, and poverty are just a few of those challenges. Many organizations, including the Malala Fund and Razia's Ray of Hope, aim to change that and give these girls the opportunity at an education. As noted on the Malala Fund website, "girls' education transforms girls' lives, their communities and their countries."
A few years ago we had the opportunity to work with Razia Jan at a fundraiser near Boston for her organization, Razia's Ray of Hope. Razia, a native Afghan, founded the organization to build a school for girls in rural Afghanistan and to fund their continued education. Most of these girls live below the poverty level and need warm coats, meals etc. in addition to a quality education.
During a fashion show for Afghan traditional clothing (Adea provided the layering tops for the models to wear under their dresses), we learned about Razia's mission and I was immediately taken. I thought to myself, how many girls are forced to quit school at a young age? How many girls, and their families as a result, are stuck in cycle of poverty because of that lack of education? Where would I be without my education?
So, I signed up to sponsor a girl in Razia's program.
Shortly after signing up I received a picture of Arezo, a 12 year old girl, and thank you card from the organization. On the back of the picture was a note: Arezo has one sister and four brothers and wants to become a teacher.
Next I received a handwritten note from Arezo, in which she explains that she's learning mathematics and will be taking an exam shortly through the Ministry of Education.
Regardless of your philanthropic preferences, Giving Tuesday is just the type of day we need to balance out the Holiday season. For my part, I will continue to sponsor Arezo to finish her education.
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