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.
Amaya Lopez, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? Girls should know more.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A model, a dancer, or singer
Excerpt from the letter: “I feel furious because girls have the right to do what they want and be what they want. I think girls should have a better education and girls should do what they wish to do which is to make a change. I think we all could make a change by … building homes and schools for kids to have an education and learn different.”
Laylah Garcia, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? Because when you grow up you can’t be who you want to be without an education.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A dentist or an artist.
Excerpt from the letter: “Girls should be strong, confident, and they have to stand up for themselves.” … I know that you girls out there want to have a better life and your dreams. Please think about that.”
Anaya Jourdain, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? Why is it important for girls to go to school? Girls should have the equal opportunity to attend school. It is important because most girls learn what they love to do when they are in school.
What do you want to do in the future? Go to Yale or Harvard and become a veterinarian or an artist.
Excerpt from the letter: “I am angry and furious because if girls do not go to school they won’t learn their passion. For example, when I wasn’t in school I didn’t know what I was good at, but when I went to school I learned what I was good at which is math… Also, I think girls should go to school because if they go to school, the country’s wealth increases …. I think that girls should get educated because the more they learn the more power they get. They get power because knowledge is power.”
Karen Flores, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? It’s important for girls to get education so they can become better people.
What do you want to do in the future? Go to Harvard and become a violinist.
Excerpt from the letter: “I think that the International Day of the Girl Child is important because some girls do not have the opportunity to have an education and this day makes them feel important.” … “I also think that girls should not be forced to get married with a person that they don’t know or that might hurt them.”
Chelsea Mendez, 9 years old
What do you want to be when you grow up? A violinist
Excerpt from the letter: “Boys aren’t only strong, girls are too. In different countries other governments feel that girls aren’t smart… I feel that the International Day of the Girl Child is very important. I think you should make it so more girls go to school.”
Story and photos by: Rudina Vojvoda and Anne Denes