Heidi Wirtz for Girls Education International
In the late summer of 2006, Lizzy Scully and I were in Pakistan on a climbing trip off of the Biofo Glacier. After Lizzy sustained a debilitating injury up on the glacier we accepted our cooks offer and headed to his village/Khane, where we were greeted by some of the most amazing people that we had ever met. We constantly had a stream of little kids and women following us and touring us about the village as we quickly bonded and became what felt like new best friends.
We soon saw the deplorable conditions of the girls’ school in striking contrast to the white washed walls of the boys’ government run school, and wondered what we could do to help this situation. Upon our return to the U.S. we sought out partners with whom to collaborate, but found only roadblocks. We felt our compassion swelling for this community and others that we had wandered through over the years, and thus the idea was born. We would give back by starting a non-profit that worked closely with local communities to help build educational opportunities for girls and women in these underserved areas. This was the start of Girls Education International, which now has three running partnerships in areas of Liberia, Pakistan and Nepal. We work with local established NGO’s that have a similar mission to our own and are primarily female run, which helps us to ensure that our projects have longevity. It also assists us to empower these local organizations to achieve their goals and to bring girls and women the opportunity to receive education which would not otherwise be afforded to them.
We are now holding our second annual fundraiser, Beats for Books, on next Tuesday, October 27th at The Spot Bouldering Gym. Please come join us for an amazing evening including a presentation by Lynn Hill, refreshments by Sherpas, Whole Foods, Oskar Blues and Market Street Liquor, a huge silent auction (over 60 items: art, mountain photography, outdoor gear, services, body work and more), family climbing clinics, music by Dirt Monkey, a live auction of famous climbers, bikers and photographers, and films by Boulder Adventure Films. This is a night not to miss! Your support will help give a girl an education that she would otherwise never receive.
I hope to see you there!
Please visit our website for more information: www.girlsed.org
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