“If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.” African proverb
After Lily Yoseph returned to Kofele, her Ethiopian hometown, she was struck by the poverty in the village, as well as the fact that often girls don’t have the opportunity to attend school. So she established a nonprofit, Tangible Hope Foundation, to remedy this situation.
Some 70 girls are supported by the nonprofit organization, headquartered in San Francisco, which is dedicated to rescuing Ethiopian girls from poverty, gender inequality, and violence. “I was very overwhelmed, because the poverty was heart-wrenching,” she says in a recent phone interview. “The girls cannot go to school because of poverty. Even if the families have the money … they send the boys to school, not the girls. The girls are doing chores, working every single day.
Tangible Hope operates on the ground in Kofele, supporting girls by furnishing everything from medical care to school uniforms and supplies. A lack of such school items can be the chief reason that young girls don’t attend school. When the girls enter the program at ages 7 or 8, the organization arranges for medical checkups for parasites and other common afflictions, while also providing nutritious meals. It offers tutoring and other educational support as well.
“There is a movement, and a growing understanding, worldwide about the importance of the education of women,” she says. “I truly believe that education of women is the key to world peace. Through education and empowerment of women across all religions, tribes, and cultures, we will find the common ground where reason triumphs over hatred.”
Based on an interview by David Karas, September 11, 2017 in The Christian Science Monitor. For the full article, please go to TangibleHope.org
Tangible Hope is one of a growing number of organizations and foundations throughout the world who are helping educate women and girls in poor or conflict-ridden regions.