"There is no more powerful force against violent extremism than a girl with a book."                      

                                                                             Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations

Alternative school, India

Grass-roots community

Compassion Beyond Borders' practice of funding scholarships and schools through local grass-roots organizations is an especially cost-effective way to educate girls, but it is more than that. Funding neighborhood groups that support the education of girls builds grass-roots community.

It is by caring for each other that the poor in the developing world manage their lives--as isolated individuals they cannot survive. In India, CBB educates communities of poor children, rather than giving scholarships to individual girls. In Guatemala, the mothers of scholarship girls form a support group for each other.

In Kenya, CBB's scholarships for orphan or abandoned girls are administered through groups of the community's women. In CBB's hostels the girls take care of each other and learn to be caring members of a community.

Gateway to Heaven girls, Kenya

Learning to care for others

CBB funded the Gateway to Heaven orphanage in Kenya that is administered by its older girls, with oversight by the home's director and her associate. The older girls cook for the younger ones, feed the infants, clean up, wash their clothes, mop the floors, etc. At a young age these girls survive by living in a community that they themselves cooperatively manage. Caring for one another is the only way of life they know.

CBB modeled its Hostels after the Gateway orphanage. All girls, young and old, help with the cooking and clean up. Each older girl is responsible for being the "mother" to a little girl--washing her clothes, keeping her neat and clean, looking after her health. The little girl and her mother sleep in the same double-decker bed, with the little girl below and the mother above. Every little girl gets 24 hour care.

The girls in a hostel form a community of caring for each other. One consequence of this is that CBB's hostel girls are over and over again chosen to be class leaders at school--CBB's hostel girls go beyond caring for only themselves.

Queen of Love Academy, Kenya

Love and education

When the Gateway To Heaven center opened a new nursery and primary school, built with funds from CBB, its Kenyan director named it the Queen of Love Academy.

When CBB appointed a new project director in Guatemala, herself a poor woman receiving scholarships for her daughters, she named the project “Study with Love”.

Now, why did two women working with the poor almost halfway around the world from each other both connect love to education in naming their projects? Surely it is because they understand that learning must be combined with caring to be useful to their community.

Since women and girls make up 70% of the world's poor, they are the primary beneficiaries of community, and so it is women and girls who nourish and sustain mutual sharing. Compassion Beyond Borders' educational programs build and strengthen communities of girls and women.