Philly's Center Stage for New Peace Corps Initiative to Help Girls

The Peace Corps and CARE are teaming up for a new training program aimed at bolstering the education and empowerment of adolescent girls all over the world. And Philadelphia will play a big role in that effort.

The program is the newest way to help meet the goal of the Obama administration’s Let Girls Learn Initiative, which is to tackle the barriers keeping 62 million girls out of school.

"Few things move us faster toward a more prosperous, peaceful world than educating and empowering a girl," CARE President and CEO Helene Gayle said in a statement before Tuesday's official White House announcement.

Globally, many obstacles keep girls out of the classroom. They range from child marriage and a lack of proper sanitation facilities, to cultural preferences that keep boys in school and girls at home helping with chores.

A new wave of Peace Corps volunteers will come to Philadelphia for training on how to effect change at the grass roots level in communities around the world. Orientation begins March 13th in and continues into April. A major focus of the program’s curriculum will be to teach people how to engage with others and overcome differences that keep them from building strong work relationships.

"CARE’s experience has taught us that it takes a community to educate and empower a girl,” Gayle said.

This is not new territory for CARE. The organization fights the poverty millions of women and girls face around the world. They reached 90 countries just last year, according to their website.

This is also not the first time Philadelphia will host a CARE project. 70 years ago CARE was founded in an effort to send packages containing food and supplies to Europe after World War II. Those packages were put together here in Philadelphia.

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