Seeds of Hope

  • The Sunflower Foundation

Australia's Foreign Minister Highlights the Importance of Educating Girls

Today, we are privileged to have a guest post written by Justine Roach, of Loyalty Marketing, Melbourne.

We know we’re on to something special when we hear Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, calling for the empowerment of women through education.

In her article “More than a Woman” (March 2016 Vogue), Bishop notes that “Women make up the majority of illiterate adults worldwide. An estimated 545 million women over the age of 15 years lack basic literacy skills: almost 65 percent of the total number of illiterate people worldwide.”

Bishop discusses Australian economic initiatives already successfully in place in Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea – such as mobile banking and credit services - which provide security and business opportunities for women in their local communities. To further facilitate this grass roots education, aid and basic support services such as counselling and shelter, Bishop has appointed Natasha Stott-Despoja as Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls.

We applaud Bishop’s recognition of women and our vital role within the community which is currently “significantly under-utilised.” Bishop is intending to change this with $745 million in educational aid in developing countries.

Bishop’s vision validates the importance.The Sunflower Foundation and others like them. (Full article available here)

Our image above is of a little Ecuadorian girl whose mother attended workshops at Inti Sisa, Guamote, which we funded for their education and women's sewing classes. Now she has a future because her mother is no longer dependent on subsistence farming.

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