CARE is a signatory to Girl Declaration and helped with its development.
Making a Difference: Empowering Girls, Expanding Knowledge, Addressing Poverty
Up until two months ago, 13-year-old Sangita Devi had never set foot in a school. She grew up in a household in India where she and her older sister assumed all of the responsibilities while her two brothers were in school.
Sangita's father died of cancer when her mother was six-months pregnant. Then, her sister married and her mother became ill with migraines and couldn't work.
The full burden of all the cooking and cleaning fell on young Sangita's shoulders. At one point she was alone in the kitchen making a meal for nearly 60 people.
Water is essential to life. And yet it could have kept Susan out of school for good.
“I remember feeling sick often. Stomach pains and diarrhea made it quite difficult to concentrate in class. [I]n one instance, I was so sick that my parents had to take me to the hospital,” says Susan, age 14.
Illness not only made her miss class, but put a financial strain on her family when they had to pay hospital fees.
She was a top student. Now, violence and bullying keep her from school.
Raghad, age 11, should be in 5th grade, but hasn’t been to school in two-and-a-half years because she and her family have had to move so many times during the Syrian conflict.
A refugee in Jordan now, Raghad’s face lights up and her words come quick when she talks about her old life in Syria. What it was like to walk home from school with friends and gossip about their teachers, do homework and chores after school, and then play with her cousins, who lived nearby.