How can I PRAY about AIDS?

Imagine Yourself In This Situation. You are facing a class of 56 young women between the ages of 9 and 19. They are of another race than your own. Their culture is different, and they speak a different language. To them, you are a Yovo—a foreigner.

Wanting to connect as quickly as possible, you ask them each to write an essay addressing two questions: What do you want to be when you grow up? Why do you think educating girls is important?

The initial shock comes when, except for three or four of them, none has ever considered the first question—they never knew there was such a thing as choice. But it's their answers to the second question, about education, that's the real mind-boggler. Their answers for the most part are worded identically: "So I won't get pregnant, get AIDS, or become a vagabond."

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The most important thing ...
July 22, 2002

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