Friday, March 1st, 2013
Tererai Trent quoted a well known passage by Nelson Mandela from his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom; “Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farmworkers can become the president of a great nation.”
In sharing her story, Ms. Trent made it clear that this story is not only about her, but that it represents the reality of our world, of girls and women, who remain silent because they do not have the education they need and deserve. She told her story in the hopes of inspiring our independent school organization to address bias, gender inequalities, and discrimination and work to believe in the dreams and aspirations of students in dire situations.
Terarai Trent shared her own data, and by now you may know how much I appreciate data driven stories. Our world has gone from about 69,000,000 to about hundreds of millions of children who are attending school, however there remain gender inequalities where girls are still staying at home. In fact, evidence shows that when a girl remains in school her chances of contracting HIV is lessened, the chances of being married at an early age is lessened and the chances of having more children is lessened, too. And yet, in the next 10 years, 100,000,000 girls will be forced into prostitution.
Terarai Trent left the audience with a few other golden nuggets.
- Life without meaning makes humans bitter.
- NAIS schools can help to create meaning for our students.
- Trent refuses to let the present situation define her future.
- She refuses to stay silent about societal expectations that take away from girl’s dignities.
- Tererai Trent offered her story to justify why NAIS schools should continue doing what we do and to never, ever give up.