We are fortunate enough to live in Hong Kong and have access to different resources. But in many developing countries, lack of school supplies hinders girls’ education.
In Ecuador, the education right of girls is often overlooked due to poverty and patriarchal mindset. A lot of girls have to drop out of school after finishing basic education.
To promote the right to education for girls, Plan International has been providing scholarships (around HK$1,100 each) to girls who have dropped out of school or are at-risk of dropping out that support their expenses on transportation, school supplies and uniforms. A total of 170 girls are benefited from the programme so far.
Nicole is 7 years old and lives with her parents and 3 brothers in a small house made of cane. With poor education background, the whole family relies on the father who works as a day labourer in the harvest season. Nicole’s mother suffers from congenital Ichthyosis (incurable disease consisting of thickened scaly dry skin), and receives treatment at the local health centre. Since medicines are expensive and they have been enduring economic hardship, she has stopped attending the doctor on some occasions. Even so, she knows that education is important to her sons and daughter.
When Nicole’s mum was told that her daughter would be a beneficiary of a scholarship from Plan International, she was very happy, “When I enrolled my daughter at the beginning, I did not know how I was going to buy everything my little girl needed, with the scholarship I can help my daughter to get ahead so she is not embarrassed for not having all the things she needs for school.”
Nicole’s mother suffers from Ichthyosis and it causes high financial burden for the family.
Plan International also organised workshops to train parents on the importance of education, a means to end poverty.
Parents recognise the importance of education.
“In the workshops I attend, I have learned the importance of education, my responsibility as a mother and the ways to help my daughter to pursue her goals,” says Nicole’s mum.