Bella (center) with primary school girls
When we first met Bella in 2008 she was a young girl in her final year of primary school (8th grade). Her father had died a number of years before, and Bella's mother struggled to support Bella and her younger brother and sister. Bella moved in with an aunt and in her new school first learned about the support available to help girls like her to succeed in school. Initially she recieved sanitary towels that enabled her to attend school regularly; when she began secondary school, Bella recieved tuition assistance and school supplies, and participated in mentoring and health education programs through the Girl Empowerment Team of the Umoja Project (GET UP).
Now Bella has completed secondary school and actively volunteers for the GET UP program. She spends her weekends visiting different primary schools to talk with younger girls who face the same struggles she faced as a young girl. Always a good student, during the week Bella works part-time for a primary school.
Bella's determination to pursue her goals, as well as her desire to "pay back" what she was given, inspires the younger girls coming up behind her. "I want to make good use of the opportunity given to me," Bella says. GET UP is grateful for her leadership and her example!
Bella in secondary school (2009)
Bella as teaching assistant (2014)