'Because I am a Girl' global ambassador Freida Pinto has won a prestigious award for her work in partnership with Plan, highlighting the importance of educating and empowering girls. She has been named as a Condé Nast Traveler magazine ‘global visionary’ and is featured on the cover of the September issue (available in the United States).
“I feel so honoured to receive this award and grateful for the opportunity to shine the light on issues that affect millions of girls around the world. It's my sincerest hope that readers are moved by the stories of these young girls that I will continue bringing to them,” says Freida.
Freida is supporting our global campaign to call on the United Nations to make girls' education a priority. You can sign the petition too.
In May, she travelled to Ethiopia to visit a number of community projects and learn more about the unique challenges girls there face. More than three million Ethiopian girls between the ages of 7 and 14 are not in the classroom. Many girls have never had a chance to go to school because of lack of financial resources or proper school facilities, and many more are forced to drop out of school and devote their time to household chores, or to marry at a young age to ensure their survival. The hardships of daily life that revolve around fetching water leave girls vulnerable to abuse, abduction, and rape.
In Ethiopia, Plan works to help communities understand the transformative power of promoting girls’ education at the individual, family, and community level.
The Girls’ Empowerment through Education Project is working to improve access to education and its quality for 5,000 school girls outside Addis Ababa. This includes the construction of separate latrines for girls, hand-washing facilities, and science labs in schools so that girls and boys have a safe place to learn. Plan also supports microfinance and savings and loan opportunities for women, and vocational training aimed at lifting them out of financial dependence.
“The way to end the cycle of poverty, reduce the number of teenage pregnancies and early marriage, and address many other ills that befall our girls is through education,” explains Freida. “By making a girl aware of her fundamental human right to education, she will have a voice. She will marry later. She will have fewer and healthier children. She will be self-sufficient. She will have educated children – her daughters and her sons – who will then educate their daughters.”
Find out more about our Because I am a Girl campaign and our work in Ethiopia.