Educating Girls and Women Is Key to Sustainable Economic Development.
(Boston, Massachusetts, March 1, 2015) — In a speech at United Nations headquarters on February 20, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke about the universal need for education.
“I’m going to convene a high-level meeting, inviting all the faith leaders around the world,” the Secretary-General said to visitors on UNA-USA Members Day. “Because I believe that there is a clear responsibility and role for religious leaders to play a role, and teachers, professors and scholars who can play a role. Education will be very important. Of course education takes a long time – ten years, twenty years. But at least in my generation and in your generation, I think we should be able to live in a more harmonious way.”
In his speech, Secretary-General Ban referred to ambitious goals set by the United Nations for the year 2030, including eradicating poverty and eliminating gender inequality, as well as, by that year, “there should be no children who are left behind at school.”
The Secretary-General’s remarks align closely with the goals of Benignant De Eagle, a non-profit, charitable foundation that works to provide post-secondary educational opportunities for girls and women in developing countries.
“It was my pleasure and privilege to be present for the Secretary-General’s thoughtful remarks,” said Benignant De Eagle founder Onyema Benigna Ajuogu. “As I was listening to him, it became apparent that the goals the United Nations has set for the next 15 years parallel and complement our own mission in bringing education to young women around the world.”
Benignant De Eagle, she said, is “currently working with universities to develop an agreement that allows a certain number of students, primarily girls to attend classes to achieve at least an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree at the university. We plan to expand and work with as many schools as possible.”
The organization works with partner organizations and individual donors to find the resources necessary for young women to attend post-secondary institutions and obtain degrees that position them to enter the 21st-century workforce and contribute to the economic and social growth of their communities.
“The UN Secretary-General’s remarks reflected our own vision restoring hope and inspiring girls throughout the developing world, providing them with the resources they need to complete their educations,” said Onyema. “We look forward to opportunities to work with the United Nations and other international agencies to achieve our shared goals.”
Benignant De Eagle, explained Onyema, seeks to create role models for young women where such role models are often absent.
“I want to be a role model to this generation myself,” she said, adding that “I want to bring sense of hope because I overcame so many obstacles in life to achieve my education. The kind of education I sought was not available in my native country so I came to the United States to find it. The goal of Benignant De Eagle is to open up possibilities for Western education to young women in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, and other developing regions.”
The purpose of Benignant De Eagle, she added, is to “focus on those hopeless young women around the world to give them hope and opportunity that ordinarily they would never have.”
The organization is participating in solidarity with similar groups and like-minded individuals around the world, she said, noting these words from the Secretary-General:
“This is a global challenge — not a single country, however powerful, however resourceful one can country may be — like the United States is the most powerful, most resourceful and richest country in the world, by any standard. But, the United States cannot do it alone. The United Nations cannot do it alone. We cannot do it alone. Therefore, we have to have everyone’s hands on deck. We have to show solidarity and we have to mobilize all this.”
Benignant De Eagle responds to the need pointed out by UN Secretary-General Ban in his remarks last month:
“There are some people, many people, who are even born there, but because of some different language, speaking a different language, believing in different faiths, there is some misperception, discrimination, marginalization, without any job opportunities, without political or social opportunities, this comes much more so when everything becomes much more so for women and girls.”
This is a global challenge, Onyema said, and “we as an organization rise up to meet this global challenge. We seek information from all the developing countries to help identify the girls that our foundation is working for. We need global support and collaboration.”
For more information about Benignant De Eagle, Inc., visit the organization’s web site at http://www.benignantdeeagle.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.