two Uganda girls with hand on each other's arm and smile to the camera inside the classroom

I care about educating refugee girls because in many places around the world, where refugee girls are most vulnerable, there is no value placed on them or educating them. The magnitude in which you can help change a girl’s life with education is almost unmeasurable, except that we do know that with education comes fewer occurrences of child marriage, lower likelihood of child labor, a reduction in sexual and gender based violence, a lower rate of teen pregnancy and increased economic prosperity for entire communities.

I am a member of Girl Up and have lobbied legislators in Washington D.C. for the education of refugee girls and other issues. Girl Up funded programs through UNHCR (the United Nations’ refugee agency) ensures girls are able to see a classroom in their lifetime and have the chance to just be a girl. Here’s a breakdown of some of my fundraising goals:

  • $1,000 – sponsors an entire classroom for refugee girls. That means desks, textbooks, school fees, teacher training and more.
  • $500 – sponsors 20 refugee girls’ education for a year
  • $250 – sponsors 10 refugee girls’ education for a year
  • $125 – sponsors 5 refugee girls’ education for a year
  • $25 – sponsors a refugee girl’s education for a year

I have had the privilege to work with and in service of Burmese refugees and built a school in Tanzania this past summer where I saw firsthand the impact of an underfunded school. I think if we believe in the equality and empowerment of girls, then we have to live our values and support educating all girls.

Through the support of my mother’s friends and close family members, I was able to not only reach my personal fundraising goal but almost triple it. Together, we are stronger!

Learn more about Girl Up’s work in Uganda and donate here.

Ava Viohl is a Girl Up Club Leader from Rochester, Indiana.

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