I am participating in the 31 Days of Free Writes October challenge. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. (Confession: I *may* not be able to resist spell-checking!)
(Since it’s a little hard to read, here’s the info about Peninnah from Kenya: “Peninnah was orphaned at a young age and couldn’t afford to continue with her education. To support herself, she got married and later had a child—but she was determined to return to school. After qualifying for a scholarship from the Forum for African Women Educationalists, Peninnah returned to the classroom. Your count is a stand for every girl who defies obstacles to education.”)
Today’s prompt: Write
Yesterday was the International Day of the Girl. Late last night, I finally read an email I had received earlier in the day asking me to participate in the One Campaign’s Count, in which participants each take a number of the millions of girls who don’t have access to education and try to give them a voice. I wasn’t made up and my hair was a mess, but I threw a cap on and did it.
I remembered doing the same thing last year when I was in Washington, D.C. with friends and fellow advocates from Shot at Life. (That was a lot of fun for a variety of reasons — we may have been a bit silly in how we helped each other get the courage up to do this on no notice.)
But mainly, as I wrote down number 16,419 and prepared to speak, I thought about the power of education for girls and young women.
To help them have better opportunities to earn a livable wage.
To help them avoid early marriage, early pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases.
To help them be everything they can possibly be, without someone else telling them what to do, how to do it, or where to exist.
I am hoping to write myself out of the current financial challenges our family is dealing with, having two kids in college and a variety of other issues to overcome.
Whatever the case, just like learning to write will give these girls and women power, I know it is putting me back in touch with my own power to solve the problems in my life I’ve contributed to.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.