Our Challenge


Refugee and Girls' Education: A global problem...

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee her country because of persecution, war, or violence.

  • Refugee children are 5x more likely to be out of school.
  • 51% of refugees are school-aged children under the age of 18.
  • Only 22% of refugee adolescents access secondary education.
  • Only 1% percent of refugees access post-secondary education.
Worldwide, there are 260 million girls out of school.

Displacement and conflict across the globe dramatically reduce opportunities for girls to go to school. In areas of conflict, girls and women are the first to miss out on education, and are 90% more likely to be out of secondary school than those living in conflict-free regions.

...with local implications.

Clarkston, Georgia was named the most diverse square mile in the United States by TIME magazine. It is home to refugees from over 40 different countries and is the center of refugee resettlement in Georgia.

Despite this diverse and welcoming community, many schools in the area have struggled with the challenge of supporting newcomer refugee students. There is a clear achievement gap for English Language Learners in Georgia.

State of Georgia high school graduation rate for all students in 2016
DeKalb County high school graduation rate for English Learners in 2017

The disappearance or drop out rate of refugee students is 75% or higher at the secondary level.

- Montero, Newmaster, & Ledger, 2014

100% of the students served at GVP

  • are newcomer refugees and English Language Learners
  • have interrupted or little formal education
  • qualify for Title I services and free lunch
  • have parents that believe their daughter’s education and future matters

At GVP, we take on the challenge of educating newcomer refugee girls with interrupted formal education to help prepare them for success in high school and in their new home. This challenge includes understanding what it means for our students and their families to be in a new country, a new community, and a new school environment.

Every refugee girl brings unique experiences and a deep desire to learn to our school. They arrive in the United States eager for education, understanding that it is a key component of building the new life that they and their families seek. They dream of pursuing education and careers that will enable them to give back to their families and communities. In the caring environment that GVP provides, each student finds space to grow into an empowered and confident young woman, equipped with the educational foundation she needs to achieve her dreams.

Continue to Our Approach to see how we rise to the challenge.