Hi! My name is Susana, I'm portuguese and also a citizen of the world. For reasons of spiritual order, I developed an inner interest about causes of social development and human rights. I decided to embrace a challenge set by SAMA, an organization that promotes gender equality around the world through various projects focusing on the importance of educating girls and improving the lives of communities in need. Educating and empowering girls and women can be one of the most effective ways to win the battle against poverty. This challenge which I am compromised with is about I am going to climb mount Kilimanjaro and raise funds to SAMA help PLAN, an organization that operates in Uganda which uses early education programs to bring girls to school and promote a more positive attitude on them.
Nowadays in Uganda, 23% of children do not attend school because their families live below the poverty line. An armed conflict in the north of the country and HIV/AIDS have devastated entire families in there and many children have lost parents. A lot of those children are HIV/AIDS positive and remain in the custody of orphanages with very limited conditions or of relatives who accumulate a very large number of children in deplorable conditions and cannot afford their studies. Girls are the most affected and in most of the cases do not have access to education, what will make them very vunerable to HIV infection and to very early pregnancies and the cycle of poverty will persist.
Africa has been devastated by drought and floods, but especially by civil wars (between 30 and 40 in the late twentieth century), and the entire african continent seem to have plunged into the abyss. In a long term, those poor populations have limited resources and are unable to purchase or produce, on an ongoing basis, the quantity and quality of food needed for a healthy life. This indicates that a large number of children are underdeveloped, both physically and mentally as a result of an inadequate diet. In very drastic cases, children die because of severe malnutrition due to starvation. In this scenario, children do not have access to education, the main tool to they become self-suficient in their futures.
So, please, help me to add one more small effort in the attempt to break the chain of poverty. With dedication and hard work anything is possible. The world we live in is unfair and flawed, and it is up to all those who believe it can change, to unite in significant efforts in trying to correct it. Each of us should not to expect to achieve change by ourselves as a single individual, but must trust that our single actions are helping to improve the lives of only a few in a particular community and add another achievemnet to the global issue, like one more step.
Your donation is going to be used on PLAN's early education project in Uganda to:
- Assist early learning programs in 18 villages for children aged 4-6
- Train 30 early learning caregivers and teachers
- Establish 18 new parenting groups
- Promote equality between girls and boys in educational setting
- Provide academic support for students in grades 1-3 through establishing after school clubs.
I truly believe on Mahatma Gandhi's words: "You must be the change you want to see in the world." And because this belief I am engaged in helping others and that is why I am on this Kili climb challenge. Please help me with a symbolic donation to we together can help PLAN to improve the lives of these girls. My biggest reward is not to reach the Kilimanjaro summit, but to live the rest of my life knowing that I contributed in a very significant way to change and probably save someone else's life. Thank you so much!