There is a proven link between lack of education and rises in poverty numbers. People around the world struggle with poor school systems, denied scholastic access and few academic resources. Illiteracy is directly correlated to poverty, and creates a cycle that is hard to break. The difficulties associated with this crisis are large scale and ones that few individuals feel that they can fix by themselves.
The Female Plight
At the brunt of this battle is the female population. Due to gender-based violence, negative stigma within communities and higher rates of poverty, women globally lack education opportunities that are often provided to men.
Many citizens believe that there is nothing that they can do to help, and rely on the bigger voices to take the lead. But there are companies working to change that and to enable consumers to fight for female education as well.
These companies work to help individuals make a global difference and improve the lives of women and girls who are deprived of an education. Consumers can join the fight to educate, empower and break the cycle of poverty created by females’ lack of schooling and access to it.
Here are a five of the most impactful companies that are working towards educating the world.
1. Conscious Step
This sock company supports many different global causes, including their non-profit partner, “Room to Read.” For every pair of “socks that give books” sold, a school book is given to a child in one of a list of targeted countries that struggle with education.
The company especially focuses on communities that need gender equality in their school systems, and work towards enabling girls to achieve an education alongside their male counterparts. Conscious Step also enables consumers to fight for female education through beautiful socks that everyone loves.
2. Sseko Designs
The apparel company, which specializes in sandals, works with young women in Uganda to ensure that many can receive a college education. Sseko Designs employs local girls during the nine-month period between the end of high school and potential beginning of college.
The organization then provides the pre-collegiate girls with employment and scholarship opportunities. For each month of their nine months, 50 percent of the girls’ earnings go into a savings fund for college. This savings account not only allows these driven women to further their education, but it also deters them from caving to social pressures to give the money away to family and friends, which would thus continue the poverty cycle.
At the end of employment terms, Sseko provides the involved girls with scholarships matching the amount of their savings by 100 percent. Thanks to their employment opportunities, the company has already sent 87 girls to college, so far.
3. Out of Print
A business that sells literature themed products, Out of Print not only donates to literacy programs but for every piece purchased, the company also sends one book to a community in need.
Many of these communities have low female attendance in education due to extremely high rates of gender violence. These products help improve these struggling communities and encourage girls to receive an education so that they can rise above poverty and illiteracy.
The book based company work to enable consumers to fight for female education, bring literacy into poorer communities and spread awareness about the difficulties in high illiteracy rates.
4. Bloom and Give
With a specialty in handmade bags, this company sends girls in India to school. The company works to help girls fight against social views and norms that deter them from attending class, and enable them to become educated even through cultural protests. The company donates half of their profits to programs and grassroots movements that work directly with in-need communities.
Bloom and Give’s vibrant bags and other products serve as a way for shoppers to give back globally and also help Indian communities educate girls.
This underwear and lingerie company helps educate Colombian children and aid mothers to return to work. Naja, through its “Underwear for Hope” line, employs local single mothers, or female heads of household, and provides their children with books, uniforms, school supplies and all school meals.
The company strives to change the dialogue that makes mothers choose between childcare and employment, and helps its female employees to educate their children. On top of that, two percent of Naja’s revenue goes towards local charities that fund continuing education for these women.
Naja empowers not only Colombia’s women and children to become educated but also empowers consumers to help in the process through their purchases.
Every Person Counts
While the education crisis is a global one, each person can make a difference. Educating women does not have to solely ride on the backs of the wealthy and the well-connected. The average person can send a girl to school, teach a girl to read and send a woman to college through conscious purchasing and globally-minded companies.
– Emily Degn