Let Girls Learn, an initiative started by the US government, is receiving backing from such celebrities as Anne Hathaway, Tyler Perry and Alicia Keys as it focuses on helping girls around the world receive an equal education in a safe environment.
The celebs spoke out in a recently released PSA, organized by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which has has donated $231 million for new education programs world-wide, writes Sandy Cohen for ABC News.
“A threat to girls’ education anywhere is a threat to progress everywhere,” “Modern Family” star Julie Bowen says in the two-minute video.
The video was made in response to the recent kidnapping of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria, as well as the Taliban’s 2012 attempted assassination of a schoolgirl/education activist, according to Ryan Gajewski for The Hollywood Reporter.
“In Nigeria, hundreds of young girls were kidnapped as they prepared for their final exams at boarding school,” actress Jennifer Garner says in the video. Adds Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, encouraging viewers to do their part: “Make the courage of so many girls around the world count.”
The Hollywood celebrities are not the only ones trying to use their names to garner support both for the Nigerian situation, but for education overall in such countries. As reported by EducationNews on June 16, WNBA players Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike, both of Nigerian heritage, have taken to their social media accounts in an attempt to raise money in conjunction with UNICEF.
Many families would like to see their daughters receive an education, but fear the violence that would come as a result of sending them to school. The money raised by the Ogwumikes will focus on protection for children who so desperately want an education, as well as finding quality teachers for them.
There are currently 62 million girls around the globe not enrolled in school. The girls who are enrolled must deal with harassment, discrimination and violence in order to gain an education. They may not have adequate teachers or learning materials, which they need to succeed.
Having an education can increase earning potential, make a girl less likely to contract HIV, as well as cause her to be more likely to educate her children, those of which will be more likely to survive past the age of 5.
“An educated girl really is the key to a healthy, more stable, more prosperous country,” said Cathy Russell, US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. “Educating girls is really one of the best investments we can make.”
The official website for the initiative offers individuals ways to get involved, such as purchasing meals, books, even a bike to offer girls transportation to and from school.
“It’s really about equal opportunity around the world,” he [Nick Cannon] said, “and at the same time knowing how much anyone’s life is furthered with the proper education.”