A recent article in The Lutheran, entitled Standing For Justice, tells of an 87 year old woman, June Kjome, who still is passionate about making a difference in the world. Her 19 years as a bush nurse in South Africa led her to heed God’s call to do His work throughout her life. She has advocated for peace, world hunger, anti-poverty & to end apartheid and has worked in the many other areas of advocacy receiving recognition for all her work thru the years.
The article stated that a favorite quote of hers was an African proverb “If you educate a man you educate a person but if you educate a woman you educate a family.” I had never heard of this quote and decided to do a little internet research about it.
The Quotiki website attributes the quote to Rudy Manikan as does ENotes and both have the same exact words. But in the Girlphyte – At Work the quote changes a little thru the words of Shashi Tharoor, the former Under-Secretary General, U.N “If you educate a boy, you educate a person, but if you educate a girl, you educate a family and benefit an entire community.” An entire community — now that is really interesting! Then I found the quote changed a little more on the Kingdom of Jordan website by her Royal Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan during her interview with Oprah Winfrey. Queen Rania relates the quote in these words: “As you educate a woman, you educate the family. If you educate the girls, you educate the future.”
The quote seems to change a lot but the wisdom remains the same– girls need to be educated. Often in Guatemala and other poor countries when a choice must be made as to which children in the family can go to school, it is often the boys that are sent. We all need to work so that all the children in the family can be sent!