90 graduations later…. Minnesotans are changing the world one girl at a time!
WHEN: Saturday, May 2, from 5-7:30pm
WHERE: Plymouth Congregational Church
1900 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis
Over the last 10 years, more than 90 girls completed their education in Ethiopia thanks to the support and contribution of Minnesotans and the work done by the Minnesota based organization, Resources for the Enrichment of African Lives (REAL). In a country where less than one in five girls makes it to secondary school, this is quite an achievement and a testimony to the unique education model created by the organization. REAL is celebrating its ten year anniversary and getting ready for 120 more graduations!
You can join REAL’s ten year celebration of educating disadvantaged girls in Ethiopia on May 2nd. The evening will include the Keynote Speaker, Michele Garnett McKenzie, Director of Advocacy at The Advocates for Human Rights as well as a Traditional Ethiopian dinner, music and inspiring stories of girls who changed their lives through the support from REAL.
Why Girls Education & Why Ethiopia?
The need to empower girls and women in Ethiopia is critical. According to World Health Organization study, 81% women said that battering a women/wife is justified. And there are a lot of studies on girls school dropout rates, domestic violence, circumcision and harmful practices that impact the wellbeing of girls and women in Ethiopia. Though education can make a woman to be financially self-sufficient and independent, it takes a great deal of strategizing and investment to change the attitude of the society in general. Our organization is dedicated to have lasting transformation to change the condition of girls and women in Ethiopia.
REAL helps brilliant yet disadvantaged girls and young women stay in school by providing them with school fees and mentorships to help them break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families and, possibly their country. In sub-Saharan Africa, less than one in five girls makes it to secondary school, a fact that has a multitude of causes, one of these being poverty. Through its holistic structure, REAL aims to not only make it possible for disadvantaged girls to attend school, but to also financially empower them and their families.
Currently, over a hundred girls are supported by REAL. There are fifty three REAL girls attending universities, pursuing degrees in medicine, engineering, teaching, and law. Nine have already graduated and are currently employed. Additionally, thirty nine graduated from vocational colleges and are employed in different fields and are giving back to their communities. Over 10 years, 0ver 300 girls have been the program and impacted over 2,000 family members.
REAL focuses on educating and empowerment of girls, but the name points to the true effect of educating women—the enrichment of African lives. REAL founder Tsehai Wodajo says, “Girls, families, villages, countries are changed when girls are educated.” Ten years of this carefully structured program has proven this to be true.
REAL’s work is supported by volunteers from the US and Ethiopia, and nine fulltime employees at the eight sites. REAL proves again the truth of Margaret Mead’s famous statement: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This is what REAL has been doing.
Please visit our website at www.real-africa.org.to learn more and to RSVP for the May 2nd celebration, or contribute online. We also appreciate if you can cover our story.
Media Release in PDF Press_Release_REAL_2015-version4
Tsehai Wodajo, REAL Executive Director