Prioritize Global Girls' Education

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Prioritize Global Girls' Education

This petition had 95,020 supporters
Maud Chifamba started this petition to Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and

My name is Maud, I’m sixteen years-old and I live in Zimbabwe. I lost my father when I was five and my mother got cancer shortly after his death, leaving only my older brother to take care of me.

Despite these challenges, I committed myself to getting an education. Nine years ago I started waking up at 5am every day to walk to school, crossing long distances on battered roads during the rainy season.

Having to go to such lengths to go to school might seem strange to you but it’s normal for the majority of boys and girls in my country. Here, attending school is a privilege, especially when you are an orphan.

I’ve never given up my commitment to getting an education. When I was fourteen I became the youngest female university student in Africa. I was honored yet astonished when Forbes named me one of the five most influential young women of my continent.

I don’t think I'm smarter than the most of my peers. I owe my success to hard work, luck, and, of course, the help of my loved ones. Today what I'm most proud of is being a role model and a beacon of hope for many girls who do not have access to education. For girls whose fate is a forced marriage at 13 or 14. For girls that risk an early pregnancy at the same age. And even worse, for girls that end up being robbed of all freedom and exploited or abused. This is why I tell my story.

Girls born into poverty like me, and many others around the world, are at highest risk. Education is our only weapon to change the world in which we live, and our only opportunity to participate in the economic, social and cultural development of our countries.

However, when the UN decided to establish the last objectives for the Millennium, this fact and girls like me all over the world were forgotten when they failed to make girls’ education a top priority.

This cannot keep happening. We need to make a change..

I know that the United Nations is working together with civil society to create a new development agenda. Next September, there will be a high-level Summit with the aim to adopt the new objectives. For this occasion, I ask to be able to bear my testimony and the voices of millions of girls living in contexts of poverty like mine.

Please sign to join me in requesting that girls' education be a top priority for the international community, and one objective for the United Nations development agenda in 2015 and beyond.

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