In 2011, the United Nations declared October 11th to be the International Day of the Girl “to help galvanize worldwide enthusiasm to better girls’ lives, providing an opportunity for them to show leadership and reach their full potential.”
At Ripple Effect Images we believe that the single most important gift that can be given to girls around the world is an education. Educated girls in the developing world marry an average of 4 years later, have fewer children and far better self-esteem. They are less likely to be victims of abuse and more likely to be leaders in their communities. Imagine what this could mean for our shared future.
Ripple Effect Images’ mission is to document the potential of, and the programs that are empowering women and girls in the developing world. In just five years Ripple has created 25 films, a photo archive of 15,000 images, and we have helped our aid beneficiaries raise more than a million dollars using powerful story-telling tools.
To celebrate the 2015 International Day of the Girl, we are happy to introduce you to girls whose lives have been lifted through the work of our aid beneficiaries.
Legions of child waste-pickers scour the mountainous landfills of New Delhi, India. Until recently, Kajal was one of them. This slender 12-year-old with blue rag ribbons in her hair has seen, smelled and survived more than most adults.
Working in a sea of garbage since age 8, Kajal never dreamed that she could one day attend school. Ripple aid beneficiary Chintan has rocked her young world, starting an informal school for the children of waste-pickers to get them out of the landfill and on to a better future. There, Kajal is surrounded by her teachers, who tend her spirit as they teach her the basics that will prepare her to enter public school.
Photo by Lynn Johnson/Ripple Effect Images
10-year-old Roda Mwembe lives in one of the most dangerous slums in Nairobi, Kenya. But when Church World Service worked to rebuild the local primary school, Roda’s world changed. She is now the youngest student in Grade 4 at her primary school. Like so many slum dwellers around the world, Roda’s family was displaced from their rural lifestyle due to climate change. But at this school, she is part of the 4H program and takes special pride in the chickens she has learned to care for, the chicks she raises and the eggs she is able to bring home to her family. Surely every Roda deserves such a chance.
Photo: Annie Griffiths/Ripple Effect Images
Precti Singh proudly answers questions in her secondary school class in rural India. Precti and her sisters know that they are extremely lucky to attend secondary school in a region where families had traditionally placed little value on educating their daughters.
Ripple partner Pardada Pardadi came up with an innovative solution: For each day a girl attends school, 10 rupees is deposited to a bank account that will become hers when she graduates. This incentive program has resulted in a dynamic girls’ school with a 100% graduation rate.
Photo: Lynn Johnson/Ripple Effect Images