Children's Education Foundation wants girls to have a future with choices. What does that demand?
An education is needed to have choices
If you are uneducated your choices are severely limited here. The future
of an uneducated female looks like what I see almost every day; an
early marriage to a so so man, the first child within the first year of
marriage, some verbal and physical abuse, struggle to make ends meet and
then the cycle continues with them not being able to afford to educate
their children. Or it might be the other common option we see; no
marriage, no permanent man and one, two or three children, and they
struggle to make ends meet and find it almost impossible to send any of
the children to school. At present we are helping quite a few single
mothers with the education costs for their children.
But the cycle is inclined to continue and continue.... deep female and cultural conditioning is strong, and even stronger in such traditional
societies as in Vietnam. With a decent income at least it removes most
of the daily back-breaking struggle. but that is not enough to make
conscious wise choices that are different to what one sees around one.
What else does it take to have a future with choices
A girl I know is getting married this week and her situation has
triggered me to complete working on an additional program we can do here
besides giving academic education to many girls. She is an intelligent,
university-educated 26 year old woman and is choosing to marry a lazy
uneducated man, who is also a heavy drinker. His family are traditional
vegetable farmers and she will now have to get up at 3am to pick the
vegetables before the sun rises. At 6am when she finishes she will get
ready for work, eat her breakfast and then go to her
daytime job. Her parents are intelligent and have not done everything
totally traditionally. Her mother for example married late, is hard
working and is now a student Buddhist nun and her husband
readily accepts this. He is an intelligent hard-working man.
Her choice will mean a hard life.
The program I am working on including creative writing, art and photography, I hope will start the process of the girls we
work with at least having the possibility of being more reflective, and conscious of the choices they make.
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