The Commonwealth Countries League is aiming to engage 1,000 UK schools in sponsoring the secondary education of 1,000 girls across the Commonwealth and Swindon-based CCL Education Fund secretary Dr Casmir Chanda, pictured, is appealing to schools in the town for their support.
Explaining the importance of educating girls in developing countries Casmir said: “It is well documented that educating girls is key in providing families with routes out of poverty.
"Girls who attend secondary school and focus on their studies don’t get married as young, have fewer children of their own and understand better how to nourish their families. This immediately eliminates the risk of maternal and childhood mortality and triggers a ripple effect.”
Casmir, who was a headteacher in Zambia before coming to the UK to pursue her Master’s Degree and PhD at Cambridge University, became involved with the CCL Education Fund having had first-hand experience of the plight of girls struggling out of poverty, yet determined to get an education.
5000 girls sponsored since 1967
The Education Fund was established in 1967, and since that time has been responsible for sponsoring the education of over 5,000 girls in countries such as Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, St Vincent and the Grenadines, India, Pakistan, Zambia, Uganda and many more.
Since its inception in May 2011 the Thousand Schools for a Thousand Girls (TSTG) has gained support in Parliament and the House of Lords, as well as from a number of UK schools nationwide.
It costs on average £300 a year to send a girl to secondary school in a Commonwealth country, including board and tuition fees. This means a UK secondary school could feasibly sponsor a girl for nearly two years by each pupil raising just £1.
In return UK students learn about the Commonwealth and about education in countries outside Europe. The sponsored girls write letters to their donors, and tell their moving and inspiring stories about their progress towards careers in medicine, education, business and catering.
Find out more by mailing Casmir: email@example.com