SICF Endorses LitWorld's "Stand Up for Girls" Day

SICF Endorses LitWorld's "Stand Up for Girls" Day in Support of Orphaned Girls in Iraq 

September 20, 2011

The Sponsor Iraqi Children Foundation, an advocate for the extremely vulnerable orphaned children of Iraq, endorses LitWorld’s “Stand Up for Girls” day on September 22, 2011.

SICF has enjoyed a special partnership with LitWorld, a US-based nonprofit organization dedicated to using the power of a story to build literacy skills and resilience among the world’s children. Along with The Children’s Village of New York, SICF and LitWorld launched an initiative to create a very special storybook for Iraqi orphans and other vulnerable children using friendly animals to highlight and reinforce 7 key strengths, including hope and belonging. The new story book is a key tool in the “Community Care Worker” (CCW) project that will train adult caregivers in creative ways to help orphans heal from their trauma and bereavement.

While data on the topic of education of orphaned girls in Iraq is not readily available, a small UNICEF study issued in 2010 raises concerns about girls’ education in war weary Iraq. Obstacles to girls attending school range from early marriage and poverty, to worries about safety from conflict and crime, to fear of teachers who beat and insult them. Other key findings from the data gathered for the study include:

  • Dropout rates for girls are very high. Girls’ enrollment declines sharply with each successive grade. Between 1st and 6th grade, approximately 60 percent of girls drop out and by the 3rd intermediate class, approximately 80% have dropped out.
  • Many young Iraqi girls want to be educated. Of Iraqi girls surveyed for the study, most understood the value of education and wished to be successful, educated women, or at least be able to read and write.

SICF supports the goal for every orphaned girl to learn to read and write, and to receive an education, and encourages Iraqis, Americans, and international organizations to do all they can to support this

Cindy Fogleman