There are a ton of reasons to go to the GIRLS WHO ROCK concert on June 10: the incredible talent (JoJo, Eddy, and DJ Kiss, among others), prizes (Fender guitar, anyone?), and venue (Gramercy Theater) are only a few of the elements that will combine to make sure you have an amazing time.
But the real reason we’re doing this is because if we reach our fundraising goal, we’ll send 42 girls to school in Uganda. Yesterday, the founder of Arlington Academy of Hope John Wanda sent us statistics from a Ugandan news site, and I’d like to share them with you to show the odds these 42 girls are up against:
• Ugandan primary schools have an average retention rate of 25 percent between P1 and P7 — that means 75 percent of students drop out before the end of primary school.
• The reasons for drop out? Pregnancy, early marriage, lack of interest, and lack of money. Girls are the hardest hit.
• Uganda has a low rate of contraceptive use, at 23 percent of women.
The article states that education, especially for girls beyond primary level, would reduce the high rate of teenage pregnancies, which are as high as 25 percent, as well as help them make informed decisions about contraceptive use and child spacing.
John adds, “These are national averages. When you look at a specific rural area like Bududa [the location of Arlington Academy of Hope], the statistics are far, far worse. I can say with some certainty that less than 5 percent of the women in Bududa use contraceptives, and the average number of children per woman exceeds nine. Average age of conception is 14 years, and the drop out rate certainly exceeds 80 percent.”
We can stop 42 girls from becoming part of these jarring statistics. Join us June 10, and help us spread the word: Music is universal. Education should be, too.