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In the event you have not yet heard or read, on April 15, 2014, at least 276 Nigerian girls attending a boarding school in rural Nigeria were kidnapped by the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram. The name Boko Haram means “Western education is a sin.” While the kidnapping is a horrific story for each of the girls individually, as well as their families, it is meant as an affront against the formal education of girls and young women. Reports are now coming out that a man claiming to be the leader of Boko Haram intends to sell the girls.  

While Heifer International does not have offices or projects in Nigeria, we are firm supporters of the right to education for all, especially for girls and women.

Here is what we know about educating and empowering girls

When girls in developing countries go to school, they are more likely to be employed later in life, contributing to the overall economic stability of a country. For every additional year of schooling they receive, their wages increase. Girls in developing countries who go to school marry at a later age and bear fewer children. Closing the gap on agricultural resources between men and women farmers is absolutely necessary for increasing agricultural yields to feed the growing world population.

I urge you to follow this story closely and to do what you can from where you are.

 

Author

Pierre Ferrari

Pierre Ferrari is president and CEO of Heifer International. Pierre is very passionate about empowering the families and communities with whom Heifer works: “It took me decades, but I have come to know that the only way to happiness and joy is to be of service to others.” Pierre’s other joys are his wife, Kim, his two sons and two stepdaughters. In his free time he enjoys golf, squash, reading and travel.

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