We are in the middle of a ‘STORYWORLD’ session with one of our students. ‘STORYWORLD’ is a do-it-yourself effectiveness kit we use at GlobalGiving to improve our effectiveness by ensuring our work is relevant to the children we are working for. I am talking with a 15-year old Class 8 girl. Let’s call her Yves. She tells me about how she sees her present environment, and talks about her dreams and aspirations. My eyes are opened to the realities and challenges she and girls like her have to contend with on a daily basis. Despite being orphaned at age 7, she has remarkable strength of character, foresight and a good dose of hope for the future.
When we first enrolled her at Acres of Mercy five years ago, Yves was just learning how to read. I ask her a question and she works hard to find the right words to paint the picture of the situation she is trying to describe. We are talking about the challenges facing girls her age in Nguluni. Yves, talks candidly about teenage pregnancy and sex outside of marriage and its impact on girls’ education. I dared suggest to her to feel free to use Swahili to which she replied. “I am now learning English. I want to become better at English. I will just talk in English.” Her resolve to want to better herself and her community is so strong she echoes the same sentiments when she says, “I need someone to help me become better at Math. I need someone to help me every day so I can become better at Mathematics.” You see the same force of character when she takes up her position as a midfielder playing for her school soccer team.
Yves has come a long way. With the help of the dedicated team of teachers, partners like you and supportive guardians and or parents she and other girls and boys at Acres of Mercy are working towards fulfilling their dreams. It is this partnership that has made the changes we see in Yves possible. Thank you for making it possible. Friends, In three weeks, she and twenty three others will be sitting the national examinations that will see these students transition to High school in February 2018. Asked what she is doing to make a difference in the community, especially on the teenage pregnancy issue. She responds, “I will continue talking to the girls, give them advice. ’And in future, I want to be a teacher…yes, I want to be a teacher, to make a difference in the lives of students.” The future is lit. Thank you for keeping these flames alive.
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