10x10 is built on a foundation of partnerships with NGOs, corporations, policy makers, and grassroots organizations - all working to change minds, lives, and policy. 10x10’s coalition of NGO partners provide life-changing services to girls every day, and are among the best practitioners of their kind. They include: A New Day Cambodia, CARE USA, UN Foundation’s Girl Up, Partners in Health, Plan International USA, Pratham USA, Room to Read, and World Vision. We are proud to present our weekly Partner Series, where we highlight the wonderful work that they are doing on the ground.

There is a saying in Ghana: “If you educate a man, you simply educate an individual, but if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”

Here’s how the benefits stack up for a girl who is educated: her income potential increases, chances of maternal or infant mortality are reduced, her children are more likely to be immunized, and HIV infection rates (especially in Africa) are lowered. Those are dividends that spread to an entire community and nation.

But tragically, in our world today, being female often means being sentenced to a life of poverty, abuse, exploitation, and deprivation.

Compared to her male counterpart, a girl growing up in the developing world is more likely to die before her fifth birthday and less likely to go to school. She is less likely to receive adequate food or health care, less likely to receive economic opportunities, more likely to be forced to marry before the age of 16, and more likely to be the victim of sexual and domestic abuse.

In my opinion, the single-most significant thing that can be done to “cure” extreme poverty is this: protect, educate, and nurture girls and women and provide them with equal rights and opportunities—educationally, economically, and socially. This one thing can do more to address extreme poverty than food, shelter, health care, economic development, or increased foreign assistance.

In Bolivia, I met a young woman who beat the odds—Lorena, 25, a doctor serving in one of World Vision’s projects. She grew up poor, one of eight children in her family. But she became a sponsored child, and that, along with scholarships, helped her go all the way through medical school. “We want our daughters to be like Lorena,” say the women in this community.

Lorena told me that many of her brothers and sisters live with her. She’s helping support them as four are in university and three are in high school. Ultimately, all eight children will hold college degrees.

Wow, I thought. Then I asked, “What is it about your family that made education so important—for both the boys and the girls?” She said it was her father, quoting him: “I will not die a happy man until all of my children are educated.”

It takes courageous women _and men _to change perceptions of gender and equality in societies. It takes us all seeing each other as God sees us—created in God’s image, each with a purpose and a role to play in God’s kingdom.

** World Vision** is excited to partner with 10x10 and share the need to bring hope and a future to girls around the world. Join us as we share more about our work and how we strive to overcome the barriers to girls as in our ** blog series** starting on October 8th.

_________________________________________________________________________10x10 partner, ** World Vision** is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. The organization serves close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the world. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.