A girl can.

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Meet Lauretta

My name is Lauretta.

I'm 12 years old. My job is to look after my younger brothers, collect firewood and fetch water. Some girls my age are already married.

I just want to go to school.

If you're a girl in many parts of the world, the odds are stacked against you.

If you're a girl...

What are the chances you'll study past elementary school?
20% in sub-saharan africa
What are the chances your first sexual encounter will be forced?
What are you most at risk of dying from?
medical complications from pregnancy

Why Girls?

‘Why girls? They're the key to lasting change in the places we work.’

One 12-year-old girl may be easy to overlook. But girls like Lauretta can change their own lives — and more.

Girls are the secret weapon in the war on poverty. But only if they're protected and educated.

When we invest in a girl through education, when we help her avoid child marriage and teen pregnancy, we give her a chance to succeed. We unlock her economic potential. And we set in motion a change that lasts for generations.

The Ripple Effect

When she stays in school, a girl can...



Meet Alphonsine, who is learning how to protect herself in the Central African Republic.

Girls who stay in school during adolescence marry later and are less likely to be subjected to forced sex.

Fighting in the Central African Republic has left many girls orphaned or separated from their parents. Left to fend for themselves, they are more likely to leave school and fall victim to sexual exploitation. Mercy Corps helps these girls heal from violence, stay in school and make choices that keep them safe.


Hear how Kuye is bringing knowledge to her village in Ethiopia.

A girl who can read teaches her mother to read, tells her brothers about women's rights, and makes school a priority for her own children.

Female high school graduates can be hard to find in rural Ethiopia. School costs are prohibitive for the poorest families, and women are more likely to be found at home, where their skills are prized and their virtue is protected. Mercy Corps scholarships help girls complete high school — and spread the power of their education through family, community and country.

Change Her World

You can unlock the hidden power of a teenage girl.

Your gift to Mercy Corps supports our mission to educate and empower girls to end poverty in places like Afghanistan, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic.

It starts with a girl.

It starts with you.



Tell the world what a girl can do.