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The AfriKids Blog

Jennifer's story: returning to school


“My mother, she was not able to help. She did not have money to take care of us.”

"Sometime my teachers would sew dresses for us because my mother did not have the money. We were trying our best."

“I know it is not my own fault, and I know it is not my mother’s own fault either. It’s because of poverty.”

After Jennifer became pregnant as a young teen she took the decision to stop going to school. She explained that she couldn’t see a future for herself in education while also having a child to look after. Jennifer began working in her local community doing menial jobs to support her family. She had given up hope of going back to school. None of the women in her family had an education and she imagined she would follow the same path.

However, when Jennifer met Caroline her life took a turn. Caroline was a teenage girl just like her, but Caroline was part of an AfriKids’ Child Rights Club in her school. At the club she was taught about her rights, she gained confidence and learnt how to raise her voice against injustices.

Caroline told Jennifer about the importance of education for girls like her. She encouraged Jennifer to think about her future, not just for herself but her family too, and she explained how education could benefit them all. Caroline also visited Jennifer’s family to help them understand the value of Jennifer’s schooling. She organised for them to visit her school to speak to her Child Rights Club leaders to see how they could support Jennifer to return. Club leaders help to identify children who are most in need of extra support for educational materials, so they can go to school.

"School has changed my life seriously."

"It has changed my life because, I was not even having the courage to even stand in front of my friends to talk. I was shy. Sometimes they would say something even in our house and I was shy. But now I am free with everybody, I can talk to my friends and even if it’s a loud crowd I can talk. I know that now I have the courage, I can talk."

"My favourite part of the school day is the reading. I like reading interesting… er storybooks, any storybooks that I can get. In our school we don’t have some, but normally my friends will bring them and I will collect them."

"For my family, I have so many dreams, because where we are living it’s not enough and we are five in our room. Sometimes it will be raining, and we will be standing there."

"I would like to be a lawyer and then I also like designing things. I like t-shirts, like the way they are designing and the way they are writing the names on them and things. I like it. So I’d like to be a lawyer and I’d like to do that job too."


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