Research consistently proves that educating and empowering girls breaks the cycle of generational poverty. For each year a girl is educated, her income increases significantly, and a country's GDP increases based on the number of educated girls. Education also reduces population growth, child mortality, HIV rates, and more.
The Caterpillar Foundation is investing in 10x10, a fund to bring awareness to the challenges and value of educating girls. At the heart of 10x10's work is a documentary film, "Girl Rising," that shares the stories of nine girls in nine countries, highlighting each girls' struggle. The Caterpillar Foundation hosted a film screening of "Girl Rising" on March 7, the eve of International Women's Day, in downtown Peoria, Ill.
Michele Sullivan, Foundation president said, "Our goal with showing the film was to help employees understand the issue, understand why it affects us all, learn more and advocate for girls education."
Stacey Delvecchio, senior engineering tech team leader and soon-to-be president of the Society of Women Engineers starting July 1, said she could describe the film with one word: "Amazing."
"Until you see all these young girls walk through the hardships in their lives you forget how good we have it," Delvecchio said. "It brings it home, once again, that there's a big need out there and these girls that need help and encouragement."
Jen White, Diversity & Inclusion consultant, added, "I think that anyone, even someone who is very well-versed in women's or civil rights issues, would find this film to be an eye-opening experience that, if nothing else, makes you feel grateful for what you have and make you want to do more for others."
In the U.S. and around the world, the Caterpillar Foundation invests in programs to support girls' education, like Opportunity International, Girl Scouts, Room to Read, and more. Director of Corporate Affairs, Jim Baumgartner, explained, "Investing in girls yields the highest return on investment. This affects everyone - both men and women worldwide and the ripple effect is undeniable."
For more information on 10x10 and Girl Rising, visit 10x10act.org.
About the Caterpillar Foundation
Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $550 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. To learn more about the global impact of the Caterpillar Foundation, please visit www.caterpillar.com/en/company/caterpillar-foundation.