LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Congress must say ‘no’ to unprecedented foreign aid cuts

The White House just released a national budget that includes extreme, unprecedented cuts to foreign aid. Congress must say “no.”

Here is just one of the many things on the chopping block: the chance for millions of children to achieve their simple dream of – and their right to – an education. With a staggering 263 million children and youth out of school globally, the White House responds by eliminating the main account funding education. This is outrageous and nonsensical. What is for them a forgettable line-item in their massive budget is the future for millions of people, who just want a chance to go to school.

Growing up as a little girl in a rural African setting was no easy task. I went to school in a time when my community believed girls are born to produce dowry for their parents. I was lucky that my parents, although struggling, understood the importance of education.

When I finished my undergraduate studies, I quickly landed a good job in a technology firm, but I was eager to rewrite the narrative and make my community see the difference education made for me.

So, I founded the non-profit www.mfarijiafrica.org to support other marginalized girls like me in Kenya [to] complete their education. The wake of this new budget is shattering to the efforts that the world has put to move millions of generations forward. This ultimately is taking 1,000 steps farther back than where we began!

The only reason I am a voice for others, rather than a statistic, is because of education. Today, I choose to use this platform to raise my voice, not just for the girls/boys in my village or my community or my country, but for the millions of children all over the world who are out of school, yet, deserve an education. Because, no matter where a child is born, they deserve to live, thrive, receive an education and reach their full potential.

Congress, do the right thing and reject these cuts.

Alice Aluoch
RESULTS volunteer
New Castle

EDITOR’S NOTE: A web search reveals that the Swahili “mfariji” is equal to the English “comforter.”

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