Celebs Star In Video Promoting Girls Education In Wake Of Nigerian Kidnapping

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“Around the world 62 million girls are not in school.” That’s the first fact you read when you click on the Let Girls Learn website. That is cause enough to do something about this sad statistic. The US Government has teamed up with USAID (US Agency for International Development) to launch this new campaign which will give $230 million USD in new education programs that will help provide safe learning opportunities for girls in Nigeria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Jordan and Guatemala. Countries where the lack of education for girls is rife.

The idea was sparked from a couple of incidents: most recently the kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian girls by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram who have a high disdain for “western education”, and the news of school girl Malala Yousafzai who was shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan for championing the cause of education for girls.

“An educated girl really is the key to a healthy, more stable, more prosperous country,” said Cathy Russell, US Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues. “Educating girls is really one of the best investments we can make.”

The campaign organizers enlisted the help of some high-profile celebrities and sports stars to lend their voice and weight behind the PSA.

“A threat to girls’ education anywhere is a threat to progress everywhere,” says ‘Modern Family’ star Julie Bowen in the video below.

“Children born to educated mothers are twice as likely to survive past the age of five,” cites N*Sync star Lance Bass.

“One more year of education increases a woman’s income by up to 25%,” is another statistic, cited by legendary actress Susan Sarandon.

“A girl who has a basic education is three times less likely to contract AIDS or HIV,” says ‘Glee’ star Darren Criss.

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There are numerous studies which show educated girls are more equipped to live healthier lives, know about sexual health from a knowledgeable source, and have been shown to invest their income back into their community knowing the effect it can have in the lives around them. Educated girls are the leaders and peacemakers of tomorrow, and this PSA wants to urge all of us to be more aware of what some young women out there are fighting for everyday.

And it’s not just awareness that this campaign is teaching us, on the website there are a number of options where you can get involved in the furthering of educating girls around the world, including volunteering, purchasing uniforms, and donating to a list of organizations that USAID is partnering with.

On the website are resources and statistics to learn more about this issue and how it is affecting certain countries.

TV personality and host of ‘America’s Got Talent’ Nick Cannon said he wanted to get involved with Let Girls Learn because becoming a dad made him a more passionate education advocate.

“It’s really about equal opportunity around the world and at the same time knowing how much anyone’s life is furthered with the proper education.”

Alicia Keys, who is also featured in the video said: “All around the world people want to change the injustices but often times don’t know exactly what they can do about it. I really wanted to participate because empowering women changes the course of our world.”

Knowing is a start, caring is progress, and acting is what makes a difference. We all have the power to do something in 2014, thanks to many modern day conveniences. We can use social media to raise awareness, use our money to donate to worthwhile organizations, and even good old fashioned volunteering is a great way to use our lives to make positive changes in our communities and around the world.

We love celebrities who use their fame as currency for a noble cause. We too can do the same, using our lives as currency and as agency for change and progress.

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