The all girls’ Maynard School in Exeter raised a hand this morning in support of today’s International Day of the Girl, to show solidarity with girls around the world in less fortunate circumstances than themselves.
“Our students are lucky enough to have one of the best educations on offer and they wanted to support the International Day of the Girl in recognition of the struggle and plight of girls across the world who have far less privileged existences,” said Deputy Head and Head of Pastoral Care, Mrs Tricia Wilks.
“The empowerment of girls and women around the globe starts at school, with a quality education and access to culture and information. Our entire Maynard community wanted to stand up and be counted in support of this notion.”
Mikee Osterlund: Forfeiting Philippine life for an English education
In ten days’ time, Mikee Osterlund will be celebrating her 15th birthday marking ten years since she waved goodbye to her family in the Philippines in search of a better education.
Having first visited England with her grandmother when she was four, she was adamant that she wanted to stay. She has been a student at The Maynard School since 2014 and last year was officially adopted by her uncle and aunt living in Devon.
Mikee is here to stay: “I decided that this was what I wanted to do when I was 5 years old. I did go to school in the Philippines but it was very different. The teachers actually teach you over here whereas over there you worked solely from a text book and the teacher only ever spoke to you if you put your hand up for help.
“I was always quite independent so whilst it was a big sacrifice to leave behind my parents and little brother, I always knew I would be alright. I was one of the lucky ones because these opportunities don’t happen to other girls in the Philippines.”
Walk in her Shoes
This afternoon over 100 Maynard girls will take part in a sponsored Walk in her Shoes in recognition of all those girls who, as young as four years old, walk miles every day to collect their families’ water supply but leaving them no time to attend school.
As a symbolic measure, and to raise awareness of these girls, each student will fill and carry an empty water bottle. All donations will be sent to Care International to help build wells and water pumps closer to rural communities so that women and girls don’t have to miss out on an education in order to sustain their families in this way.