“Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.”Marian Wright Edelman: Founder, Children’s Defense Fund
VillageSteps understands that education is the cornerstone to enabling all children to hold the promise of a brighter future.
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”Kofi Annan: UN Secretary-General
In 2004 there were roughly 117 million children out of school—of those, more than 62 million were girls. Research consistently shows that social and economic growth is fueled when children—especially young girls—receive primary, compulsory, good quality education (UNICEF, 2006 & USAID, 1999).
For women and children in developing countries, an education not only lends knowledge, but also enforces critical thinking, problem solving, and interpersonal skills. Education empowers people to make good decisions, lead healthy lives, and change the world around them for the better.
Imagine a world where children in every city, suburb and village share the same opportunities for success and thrive. While this vision is a tremendous undertaking, at VillageSteps, we realize just how accessible this mission is with people like you dedicated to enabling all children to hold the promise of a brighter future.
VillageSteps focuses on the full potential of every child by providing the necessary tools to rear healthy, happy children equipped with the education necessary to engage and to contribute for the betterment of their surrounding communities.
Children in developing countries lack the opportunities of children in our country. When parents earn less than $2 per day, what happens when one of them falls ill or dies? There are no safety nets, no social security, no insurance policies. The children drop out of school. Girls care for younger siblings, carry water or sell charcoal, unprotected.
There are 1.2 million such orphan children in Zambia today. Half of the children in the country are not in school. Many girls do not feel safe walking long distances to school, and arrive exhausted and unable to concentrate.
Why is school so important? Children in school learn to solve problems, make decisions, and to advocate for themselves and their children. Infant mortality rates decrease. HIV/AIDS infection rates decrease, and family size decreases when girls receive a primary education. Family income, self esteem, and age at marriage increase. The community becomes stronger when a skilled young person is able to contribute to the economy and pass on their knowledge.