We live in a complex world. And having an impact is not always simple. This is. Here's why educating one girl changes, well, everything:
- When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
- An extra year of primary school boosts girls' eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
- When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
More Than Me, an organization that lifts little girls at risk of prostitution off the streets of West Africa and into school, is competing for $1 million dollars on NBC in two weeks. "If we win that, thousands of girls will break free from that life," says Katie Meyler, their founder.
One of their girls, Abigail, has been saved from a life of prostitution and is now thriving (and smiling) in school. And Abigail has a message for all of you:
My name is Abigail.
I'm 13-years-old. I live in West Point, Liberia. I don't know my parents... I was left with prostitutes when I was six-years-old. They took care of me, but life was hard. Often, I didn't have a place to sleep or food to eat. I never went to school. And I would often sleep at a video club so men could find me and then "rent" me for the night. I was abused, both in my mind and body. I didn't feel loved.
When I met the people at More Than Me, my life changed. I have a new home now and food to eat. I'm in school now. I'm happy now. I feel like I have a future now. I feel loved. I've learned how to bake, which helps me earn extra money.
Please help vote for me so I can continue in this new life and stay in school. Your vote is my future. I'll do anything to show you that I'll do my best in school and become something with my life.
VOTE Nov. 27 - Dec. 4 for Abigail and girls like her at voteabigail.org and... then share it with others.
That's it -- nothing more.
Follow Josh Tetrick on Twitter: www.twitter.com/joshtetrick