NEW YORK, 5 February 2013 – Recently, a group of students from the Bronx Global Learning Institute for Girls who had learned about the tragic events in Pakistan that had left 14-year old Malala severely wounded wrote to The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) expressing their solidarity, outrage and passion for education. Today we’d like to introduce you to each of these girls and their thoughts on education.
Kaelani Quiles, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? It’s important for girls to go to school so that later on they can get a good job.
What do you want to do when you grow up? Go to an Ivy League college and help cure diseases.
Excerpt from the letter: “Women and girls should have the same rights as men. The girl in Pakistan had a dream that girls in the work should be educated. I have the same dream.”
Miosotis McClanahan, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? My teacher inspired me to write this letter and to write to the men in Pakistan. All girls should have equal opportunity as boys.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Go to Harvard and become a judge.
Excerpt from the letter:“Dear men in Pakistan, I think it’s important to stay in school because we are too young to stop our dream of going to school. Your children need you to help them…don’t let your children give up their dreams.… Some important things in our community are to finish your education and find the path of leadership.”
Lohv Hohenkirk, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? Girls deserve to learn because if we learn we can get jobs and go to college.
What do you want to do when you grow up? I want to go to the University of Pennsylvania and become a doctor.
Excerpt from the letter: “Girls should learn because ‘they should not learn’ would be the wrong thing to say to a young girl. Everyone should be helping girls to learn because having a pretty face doesn’t mean we can’t learn. Between learning and being pretty, I would choose learning any day.”
Samaiya Artis, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? It’s not fair if girls cannot go to school. I don’t like the peopl who do that to girls.
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to become a lawyer.
Excerpt from the letter: “I am angry because girls are not allowed to go to school.”… “Also, many girls are poor and when they don’t go to school they have to stay home and do all of the chores.”
Seela Camara, 9 years old
Why did you write this letter? More women need an education so there are more women lawyers, judges and police officers. If there were more women in these roles, the world would be a better place.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Go to an Ivy League college, then culinary school and become a chef.
Excerpt from the letter: “It is very important to have the day of the girl child and I am mad that people are discriminating [against] girls.” … “People should get together and take a stand.”… “I wrote this letter to inform you that we must help the girls that need help.”
Giana Ross, ten years old
Why did you write this letter? I am really upset that some girls in Pakistan cannot go to school and get and education.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A teacher because I want to help girls learn. Or a singer.
Excerpt from the letter: “I think girls all over the world should be allowed to go to school. I also don’t think they should get married at 11 years old or when they are teens, it is not right at all.”
Story and photos by: Rudina Vojvoda and Anne Denes