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Investments in Girls, Connect To Learn Highlighted by Global Leaders at WEF 2014

Posted Mon Jan 27, 2014 by Connect To Learn

Connect To Learn is honored to have been featured at a World Economic Forum event in Davos, Switzerland last week. Headlined as "Scaling Up Success: Investing in Girl Empowerment for MDG Acceleration" and hosted by the UN Secretary General and the UN Foundation, the event brought together cross-sector global leaders to focus on the importance of investment in adolescent girls as a key to ending poverty and accelerating progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The discussion, viewable at right, highlighted smart initiatives and creative partnerships to mobilize and scale investments in girls.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "This is more than a philanthropic issue. This is a challenge to do business better. It is a chance to change institutions so they reflect more enlightened attitudes about girls and include strategies to improve their lives."

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute and Hans Vestberg, Ericsson President & CEO, participated and debuted a new Connect To Learn video at the event, joining UN Foundation President & CEO, Kathy Calvin and speakers including H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, H.E. Ms. Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, Tina Brown, President of Tina Brown Live Media, and HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, First Lady of Qatar.

Connect To Learn's short new video, also accessible directly below, features our work being carried out across Africa as an example of the tremendous breakthroughs possible when young girls get the opportunity to attend secondary school. It introduces CTL scholarship beneficiaries and their teachers in Ghana, including one of our first graduates, Ramatu Seidu, who is now working as a Community Health Worker in her home village. They share how the opportunity of secondary schooling is giving them the ability to pursue their dreams, serve as role models to younger girls, and contribute to their communities and national economies.

An expanding body of research tells us that educating and empowering adolescent girls and promoting the rights of girls and women results in life-changing benefits for families, communities, and countries, among them healthier children and families, higher personal incomes, and economic growth.

By providing girls with access to secondary schooling through scholarships and, in tandem, equipping the schools they attend with technology-enabled access to information and learning resources, Connect To Learn is forging practical solutions to help shape the future of learning as an important key to ending global poverty. With latest figures indicating that mobile broadband subscriptions will exceed 9.3 billion by 2019, students and teachers with a mobile device anywhere—even in the most remote and impoverished villages of the world—can access information on every imaginable subject.

Connect To Learn's lead technology partner, Ericsson, and a host of other contributing partners such as Spin Master Toys, the Sanchez-Palm Girls Scholarship Fund, JM Eagle, John Legend's Show Me Campaign, Raising Malawi and WNBA star Tina Charles, and Author/Actor Jamie Lee Curtis, plus many more organizations and individuals are helping to enable access to learning for thousands of girls and their male peers in resource-deprived communities around the world.

Of 12 Connect To Learn program sites now located across 10 countries in Africa, the Bonsaaso community in Ghana is one of Connect To Learn's first scholarship program sites launched in late 2010, and was one of the first ICT installations completed in cooperation with Ericsson, Connect To Learn's chief technology partner, in early 2011. Since that time, additional computers and equipment upgrades have been provided and several intensive teacher training and professional development courses have been conducted at the two schools in this Millennium Village Project site. Bonsaaso is located in the Amansie-West District of the Ashanti Region of Ghana. It is a hot and humid tropical region where villages are spread out and separated from one another by thick rainforest. Across two Millennium Village Project sites now present in Ghana, Connect To Learn has provided 100 students with three-year secondary school scholarships and 94 of them are girls. Thousands more girls and boys and their teachers are served in the schools where CTL Scholars are enrolled through the ICT investments made by Connect To Learn partners.