When I was 10 years old, we moved to the US for an opportunity to attend better schools than those that were on offer in Zambia. Simultaneously, my grandparents built a primary school for the children in their village in India as the nearest school was too far away. Education has always been a hot topic in our home and a huge emphasis has been placed on the importance of it. A key awaking moment for me was at this naive age of 10 when my grandfather asked me "what are you going to do to make your mark in this world?"
At beti+beno, we strongly believe that education changes a person, a community, a society and beyond, which is why we have committed to donating 10% of our net profits to a local Education NGO.
Some facts from UNESCO that grabbed our attention and got us thinking more about this topic...
If all women had a primary school education, there would be 15% fewer child deaths and 1.7 million children would be saved from malnutrition.
If all women had a secondary education, then 3 million lives would be saved and 12 million children would be saved from malnutrition.
See the pattern?
However, sadly, there are over 500 million children globally who do not have access to education. 12 million children in India alone are denied this basic need simply because of where they are geographically located or, if you are a girl, then gender inequality means you have a different destiny.
We have been careful to select NGO's that we believe are solving the problem through grassroots operations; ones that are using the local members of the community to create the change and empowering them to become the solution. We don't want to solely focus on supporting getting girls back into school, because we think it is equally important to educate a boy, so he can then have a different view on gender equality.
So each quarter we will seek out different charities and partners who we think are making some worthy changes.
We had chosen to donate our education funds to the local artisan's school however since the pandemic, the artisans have advised us not to put the money towards this initiative. There are many reasons for this - simple necessities such as wi-fi and computers are non existent however the main reason is bigger problems have arisen. Many of the weavers are out of work, especially women, which means their is a huge danger of them not only losing their skills but also the years spent building their confidence and independence is now at risk. We are working on setting up a workshop for these women to maintain and develop their skills. More details to come on this...stay tuned.