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Sometimes it’s hard to imagine the barriers students need to overcome just to go to school.

Growing up on a farm in rural Wisconsin, the most difficult barrier I faced was riding the school bus for an hour. Each way. It’s true: I was the first one on and the last one off. It was the equivalent of every dad’s memorable refrain, “When I was your age I had to walk a mile in snow, uphill both ways…”

You get it. You understand that there are barriers to going to, and staying in, school. Your support has helped start a new program in Tanzania that will remove specific barriers, so girls can stay in school.

Young girls in Tanzania, especially Maasai girls, are at risk of early marriage, childhood pregnancy, domestic abuse, and female genital cutting. To avoid these risks, some students need a place to stay instead of returning home on summer break and school holidays. LPGM is partnering with Mwangaza Partnership for Education to provide a safe house for the most vulnerable students.

Providing them with a place to live will help these young women complete their education. The students in the safe house will also receive education, health care, counseling, and basic needs such as food and clothing.

In addition to providing safe housing, we are tackling the root cause of the problem through a Safe Schools program. We’re working with school administrators and student leaders to create healthier school cultures, implementing curriculum and establishing Peace Clubs. Lastly, we’re implementing a Binti-Mama (“Daughter-Mother”) program. This program will focus on the health, well-being and empowerment of mothers and daughters.

Thank you for recognizing that barriers to receiving an education come in a variety of shapes, ones that we can’t always personally relate to or understand. Your investment in Tanzania provides safe homes, safe schools and ultimately safe lives!

Author Becca Tumm

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