All girls have an absolute right to a stable, sequential education. This is because the knowledge acquired brings opportunities to make a difference - and girls are more than capable of doing this.

I am 17-years-old and currently doing my year 11 VCE at Wodonga Senior Secondary College. I am a strong believer in equality - particularly in the area of education. I believe that if we educate girls, we educate an entire nation.

Girls are talented, gifted and very capable. In the same way that food is a basic ingredient for survival and a basic right, education ought to be provided to all girls as a vital basic right. 
Atosha wants every girl to know that they are gifted and capable of doing amazing things. ©UNICEF/MORAN

For a couple of years in my schooling, from primary to secondary level, I experienced unsettling interruptions to my education due to war in my country - the Democratic Republic of Congo. I shifted in and out of school because of family circumstances beyond my control, repeating grades because of language barriers. 

I believe education is the key to success. I have always been determined to receive an education, even in confronting situations in the three different education systems I have been a part of - language the biggest barrier. First I studied in the DRC, then Kenya and now Australia. 

In fact, all these unsettling experiences have made me more determined to overcome adversity and put my effort into my schooling. 
©UNICEF/MORAN

An amazing thing about education in Australia is that I am nearly finishing school two years after I was enrolled without seeing teachers going on strike. It is an absolute benefit knowing that education will always be available. In Kenya, school could be closed for weeks due to teacher strikes.

As a young girl pursuing education I encountered lots of opportunities in extra-curricular activities such as sports clubs, music, community service and leadership opportunities - all of which I have embraced. It has built my identity. The diversity of people I have interacted with has given me a sense of belonging and a purpose to go beyond. 

 

"Regardless of age, culture, background
or anything else, education is an easy
solution to heal and empower girls so
that they can reach their potential."

So today, on International Day of the Girl, I want my experience to encourage every girl to know that they are gifted and capable of doing amazing things. 
 
©UNICEF/MORAN

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