13-year-old Happy from Kenya. ActionAid's charity Christmas appeal 2021.

Let girls learn this Christmas

Every girl deserves to go to school and get the education that is her right. But around the world, 129 million girls are out of school.1 That’s 129 million empty desks in classrooms

The Covid-19 pandemic has made a serious situation worse. Lockdowns have kept girls at home, out of sight and out of the classroom – some of them for good

That's why it's more important than ever that we support girls like 13-year-old Happy to get the education she deserves.

Happy dropped out of school at a young age because her parents couldn't afford the fees. Now, thanks to ActionAid donors, she is catching up on learning she missed at an ActionAid-supported catch-up centre.2

Every girl has the right to go to school. Every girl has the power to transform her own future, and build a life free from poverty – if only she’s given the chance.

Please set up a regular donation this Christmas, and help to let girls learn.

Your donation to our Christmas appeal

Donation value

£3 per month

Over a year, you could provide a dignity kit for a girl, including menstrual products, so she doesn’t have to miss school

£7 per month

Over a year, you could provide a schoolbag, books and pencils for five girls

£10 per month

Over a year, you could pay for one month’s tuition for a girl at a catch-up centre

Or choose your own amount to give

per month

A Christmas gift for a girl like Happy

"I love going to school," says 13-year-old Happy, who attends an ActionAid-supported catch-up centre in Kenya, after dropping out of school at a young age. 

"My first day in school I didn’t know how to read Kiswahili, but when I went there, I learned how to read Kiswahili." 

Now, Happy looks forward to getting a job and earning enough money to build her parents a house.  

Happy’s mum, Nzingo, says she saw a change in Happy when she enrolled in the catch-up centre: "She is happy now; she can read and write, and I am thankful.  

"I expect Happy will get a job and support herself in the future." 

13-year-old Happy, from Kenya, says she wants to become a tailor or a doctor when she grows up.

Esther Sweeney/ActionAid

How ActionAid supports girls' education

ActionAid runs a network of projects that support girls into schools, keep girls from dropping out of school, and help girls to catch up on learning they’ve missed

We provide simple but effective solutions to ensure girls stay in school, like supplying girls with menstrual products so they don’t miss class - or drop out of school altogether - when they have their period.  

And for those girls who’ve already missed out on their education, we run catch-up centres where girls can learn literacy and other life skills

In Kenya alone, 5,000 girls aged 10-19 are attending one of 150 catch-up centres, opening the door to education and skills that let them take control of their futures. 

Together, these solutions are supporting more and more girls to unlock their power, each and every day.  

Happy's teacher, Jeniffer, says lack of funds is often what causes girls to drop out of school

Esther Sweeney/ActionAid

Girls' education: opening the door to a brighter future

Happy’s teacher at the catch-up centre, Jeniffer, has witnessed an incredible change in Happy. 

"We gave Happy courage and advice," says Jeniffer. "She then knew that she could also be like others who have been successful in life. 

I expect Happy to complete her primary and secondary education and go on to college. I believe that at college, if she chooses the subject she likes, she will be a capable person and depend on herself in life."

Please donate just £7 a month to our Christmas appeal, and help unlock the power of a girl’s education.

Donate today


  • 1https://www.unicef.org/education/girls-education
  • 2The catch-up centres are part of an ActionAid project funded by UK aid through the Girls Education Challenge

13-year-old Happy, who dropped out of school but now attends an ActionAid-supported catch-up centre in Kenya. Esther Sweeney/ActionAid

Page updated 17 November 2021