NEW YORK, 5 February 2013 – Recently, a group of students from the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls who had learned about the tragic events in Pakistan that had left 14-year old Malala severely wounded wrote to The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) expressing their solidarity, outrage and passion for education. Today we’d like to introduce you to each of these girls and their thoughts on education.
Meslye Rodriguez, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? Girls should grow up and be who they want to be and follow their dreams.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor, a singer, a dancer.
Excerpt from the letter: “I am furious because of all the things that girls have to go through. Now I am telling you that I want you to help the girls that can’t go to school. Also, I am tired of girls having to get married at an early age and I am tired of girls having kids at an early age”
Imari David, ten years old
Why did you write this letter? It is not fair that some girls don’t have education, how can we help them?
What do you want to do when you leave Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls Charter School? I want to go to college in Massachusetts.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Get a job and be president.
Excerpt from the letter: “I want to have more schools built because there are more girls coming to our world. There should be more schools for kids… If no girls have a good education, then how will we have good schools?”
Ericka Familia, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? More girls should go to school so they can become professionals.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Judge
Excerpt from the letter: “In a lot of places in the world, girls aren’t allowed to go to school because people think that we don’t have power.” … “When girls in Pakistan do [not] go to school, they only learn how to do chores around the house instead of learning how to read and write. Something that really shocks me is that a girls in Pakistan was shot because she told someone that all girls should get an education.”
Nya Paulino, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? Education for girls is the most important topic in the entire universe. It is important for girls to go to school because if girls are not educated communities will not have the best representation.
What do you want to do when you leave Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls Charter School? Go to Harvard, then to law school, then become a lawyer.
Excerpt from the letter:“Also, if a girl stands up for what she believes in, people shouldn’t hurt that girl” … “Some girls don’t get to be what they want to be. Some girls wanted to be artists. But they couldn’t because they have to work. I am lucky to be free.”
Gabriella Perez, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? Not fair if only boys get education; girls need to work and get education so they can be who they want to be.
What do you want to be when you grow up? An artist or work at a nail salon or as a hair dresser.
Excerpt from the letter: “It does not matter what your gender is. The thing that is important is to go to school… If you don’t go to school you won’t be smart. Over 77 million girls dream about going to school.”
Story and photos by: Rudina Vojvoda and Anne Denes