Despite it being unusual for girls in Uganda to attend school as far as the seventh grade, 14 year old Irene has excelled in her studies. UNICEF has been supporting Irene’s school since 2015 by providing school supplies, as well as training teachers and building a new classroom block and latrines.

“School is important to me because I want to get educated, and I want to be the one to pay my younger sister’s school fees,” Irene says. “At times though, I can’t attend school because of school fees; they charge too much and my father doesn’t have much money.”

Watch the video below to learn more about how school – and UNICEF’s support – is helping Irene excel, and bring change to her community.

Girls in sub-Saharan Africa face some of the greatest disadvantages when it comes to gaps in education. Globally, over half of out-of-school children live in the region. Sub-Saharan Africa also has the largest gender gap in the world, with nearly 40 per cent of adolescent girls out-of-school.

The single best investment to break such intergenerational cycles of poverty and discrimination is access to free, quality education.

That’s why UNICEF Canada’s UNdaunted investment is working to address barriers to education, faced by girls in sub-Saharan Africa like Irene, to help pave the way to a better future for every child.