Today is the International Day of the Girl, a day declared by the United Nations to recognize the unique challenges girls face around the world. In honor of this very special day, we’d like to highlight a few challenges of and efforts by girls living in the last mile of the developing world. And, how you can take action!
Two unique challenges for women residing in a the last mile:
- Being there for baby’s first step: A woman in a developing country is 97 times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy than a woman in a developed country.
- Fresh air: The World Health Organisation states that indoor air pollution primarily from cooking over an open fire claims the lives of nearly 2 million people per year. Smoke from cookstoves, specifically, kills one person every 16 seconds—with women most at risk. These women are three times as likely to suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (e.g. chronic bronchitis), than women who use cleaner fuels.
Girls as agents of change
When girls have access to simple, life-improving technologies, their lives as well as the lives of their families are substantially impacted. Kopernik works with women’s groups around the world to distribute these technologies.
- Mommy and baby are doing fine: Kopernik has collaborated with Midwives for Haiti on two projects that distributed Maternova Obstetric Kits to clinics in Hinche (central Haiti). The program gave the proper tools to 24 midwives, benefiting more than 500 women!
- Letting women breathe easy: Kopernik has distributed more than 2,500 stoves to women’s groups in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. One women’s group, PEKKA, collaborates with Kopernik on an entrepreneurial program where women act as technology agents who sell technologies such as clean cookstoves, solar lights and to their communities, earning a commission from each sale. These women have access to life-changing technologies, additional income and business management training. Check out a few personal stories: http://kopernik.info/en-us/theblog/wonder-woman; http://kopernik.info/en-us/theblog/another-wonder-woman.
TAKE ACTION! Donate to a program for the girls.
Mothers in Ghana: This project provides pregnant women in Ghana with a birthing kit which will enable them to have a clean and safe child birth. The kits are also used as an incentive for women who intend to deliver with a traditional birth attendant or local medical facility to attend prenatal care.
Save the Cook: Most rural people in the Niger Delta typically use wood to cook indoors on three-stone fireplaces. Not only is firewood expensive, due to its widespread use for cooking and boiling water, it’s the main contributor to rapid deforestation in Nigeria. On top of that, the burning of wood indoors produces significant smoke that causes respiratory illnesses. Kopernik will provide these rural women with a stove that reduces fuel consumption, emissions and cooking time.
Give a Girl a Chance: It is widely recognized that investments in young women return multiple dividends, contributing to healthier families, communities, and societies. Kopernik will work together with d.light and the IRC to provide a path out of poverty for girls in urban Kenyan settlements, empowering them to reinvest in their families and become independent economic actors in their own right. 24 girls will be trained and equipped with brand activator kits to sell d.light’s portable solar lanterns in their communities.