The recent International Day of the Girl really made us think about how empowering & educating women & girls can change the world! This year’s theme of “The Power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030″ addresses the fact that adolescent girls have the right to a safe, educated, and healthy life, but also that “If effectively supported during the adolescent years, girls have the potential to CHANGE THE WORLD – both as the empowered girls of today and as tomorrow’s workers, mothers, entrepreneurs, mentors, household heads, and political leaders.” Powerful words!
Studies show that when an educated girl or woman earns income, she reinvests 90% of it into her family. She prioritizes food, medicine, and education for her children. In one of our recent videos about The Leakey Collection’s early days, our founder Katy Leakey shared that even the Maasai men eventually acknowledged: “The women spend the money on the RIGHT THINGS. They put the kids in school. They buy the food.”
Mandy Moore wrote in ONE.org: “Each additional year of secondary school can increase a woman’s earnings by 10 to 20 percent, and that increase yields real profits for the countries they live in. When 10 percent more women in a country complete secondary education, the country’s annual per capita income grows by 3 percent. Investing in women and girls makes economic sense.”
We believe in this so firmly that not only is our mission to empower our female Maasai artisans through entrepreneurial ventures, but we are working to keep young adolescent rural girls, who tend to drop out of school before completing their primary education, on track toward graduation. A portion of the proceeds from each Beads for Girls Graduation bracelet is donated by The Leakey Collection to our Girls Graduation counseling program, as well as toward a girls’ scholarship fund.