GIRLS RESPOND WITH THEIR EXPERIENCE OF THE MDGs

Girls MDGsIn the last newsletter, you may remember a list of questions asking about the experience of girls regarding fulfillment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). We received a very thought-provoking response from Manju, Sindhu, and Poonan with the assistance of Dr. Pooja Kandula at Nari Gunjan (Danapur), the school begun and directed by Sr. Mary Sudha of the Patna province of the Sisters of Notre Dame. This response, together with other submissions, was given as testimony at a UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting sponsored by Canada and Turkey. The information sent to us by the girls in many countries was gathered and presented by the Girl Advocates of the Working Group on Girls.

Girls Nari GunjanGirls from Nari Gunjan are very articulate on the ways in which village girls are excluded from education, health care, and nutrition. Descriptions of effective education at the school, overcoming discrimination due to caste and the pressure to marry early, made a deep impression on the audience. One of the ministers from Canada is also a pediatrician and she was very vocal in support of the passion evidenced by the Girl Advocates as they shared what had been sent to them. Our girls from Nari Gunjan in Danapur shared further about the work that they do when they go back to the village for holiday: teach their younger siblings to read and write, teach numeracy to their parents, share what they learn about HIV/AIDS and malaria and how to prevent it, and the need for nutritious food and clean water. They worried about the needless deaths due to girls giving birth at an early age and envisioned a crèche for those mothers and babies who survived so that the young mothers could learn to care for healthy children.

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