Ideas for Taking Action

It?s your turn! Go ahead, take action! Here are some ideas. After seeing a documentary about how thousands of elephants are killed each year by poachers who want their ivory tusks, you might feel the desire to get out and do something about it. But you can?t just hop on a plane to Africa. So what can you do? You could educate others about the poaching, and perhaps even drum up support for a local boycott of ivory jewelry and other ivory goods. Or you could use the issue as a springboard to other animal-related causes. Perhaps you could take action to improve the treatment of animals in a local zoo or shelter or protect a local endangered animal. The same applies to improving the world for girls. In 2005, an estimated 58 million girls around the world were still not in school, and of those who were, one in four weren?t expected to complete fifth grade. Experts say that educating girls is one of the most beneficial commitments a country can make, because it not only prepares girls for higher education, it helps pull families out of poverty, hunger, and ill health. Here?s what one American woman did while on a trip to Africa: While on vacation in Rwanda, Cheryl Baldwin, an executive director at Long Island University in Brookville, New York, saw how poverty and despair were affecting girls in a country still reeling from civil war. So she came up with a vision?Camp Hope, a leadership development program for Rwandan girls. In the summer of 2007, through Baldwin?s efforts and funding from an anonymous donor, 20 Rwandan girls met with Rwandan senators and other women leaders to discuss girls? concerns. In 2008, the camp plans to serve 60 girls. One girl reported that Camp Hope gave her ?the opportunity to hope again.? ?I was very desperate,? she said. ?I couldn?t see anything good for me in the future. . . . I now know that I am precious and valued in the Rwandan society.?

What can you do to help girls worldwide get an education? Start in your community! Remember: Raising local literacy levels raises world literacy, too.

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