October 11 has been set aside as the International Day of the Girl Child. According to the United Nations, 600 million adolescent girls will become adults over the next decade. More than 90 percent of those living in developing countries will end up working in the “informal sector,” where low or no pay, abuse and exploitation are common.
The International Day of the Girl Child was originated by PLAN International, then it was adopted by the UN in 2011 when the General Assembly approved Resolution 66/170. It documented that:
- Half of all sexual assaults are committed against girls under 16
- 41,000 girls are forced into marriage every day
- 32 million primary-school-age girls do not attend school
The International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote their right to a safe, educated and healthy life—not only during these critical formative years but also as they mature into women.
While we steadfastly acknowledge their rights, most, if not all, of those 600 million girls, do not have the means to have a safe and prosperous life now or in the future. Most live so deeply in abject poverty that their parents may barely be able to feed them, let alone provide a safe environment or a sound education.
The generational poverty of their families has pinned many of them into a corner from which they have no means of escape. Others are barely surviving from day to day in areas decimated by armed conflict and widespread disease.
The UN cites “significant progress” in primary school enrollment, vaccinations against communicable diseases and improved nutrition for girls under the age of 10. Nonetheless, it decries the lack of progress in addressing the challenges they face in the second decade of their lives when they often face gender-based discrimination and violence, forced labor, unwanted pregnancy and child marriage, not to mention being unable to continue their education into the secondary level.
If their parents are not able to provide for their safety, security, and skill development, then who extricate them from that corner? The answer is clear. It must be up to the rest of us to do what we can.
Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported partners are committed to helping the millions of young girls across Asia, not only on International Day of the Girl Child but every day of the year.
Our field partners help underprivileged children reach their full potential by tutoring them. This complements their formal schooling and enables them to integrate with and flourish into mainstream schools. In addition, they provide the necessary school supplies their parents cannot afford.
From kindergarten through university, Gospel for Asia (GFA)-supported partners help children excel in academics and grow in strength of character to fulfill their individual vocational callings and become successful global citizens. Their schools and institutes of higher education launch thousands of thriving students into the world’s workforce by combining a strong classroom education with positive, principle-based values. Many of our students are first-generation graduates.
Our partners give the children in the Bridge of Hope programs a daily meal, which is high in nutritional value that is essential to the child’s growth and health.
Our partners provide essential medical aid to treat these preventable illnesses and save their lives and teach them healthy habits that can last a lifetime.
The need is great, but it is not impossible. When people who love and care are willing to sacrifice for the sake of the children, changing their present circumstances and the potential for a better future is achievable.
Would you set aside some special time this October 11 to pray for those 600 million young girls and for Gospel for Asia (GFA) and other NGOs who are hard at work to minister to these young women and to transform their lives for the better?
Please continue reading here to learn how you can join us in providing a better hope and future for these precious children.
Click here, to read more posts on the impact of Bridge of Hope in the lives of children.
Click here, to read more blogs on Patheos from Gospel for Asia.
- PLAN International, 7 REASONS THE WORLD NEEDS THE GIRLS’ RIGHTS PLATFORM
- Believers Eastern Church, Educating Children for a Brighter Tomorrow
- Day of the Girls Summit, Summit 2018
- The United Nations, International Day of the Girl Child 11 October