The air is sticky and noisy, filled with laughter as I walk out of my room into the hall of my house, stepping over children who are playing with a pile of dust and a stick. They seem distracted and distant in their imaginations. But I realized, the sun was already very high in the sky, the air was already hot and I was sticky with sweat. It was past school opening time yet these kids were at home.
I had my friend ask them why they did not go to school today and there responses are what I had expected. One responded, “I use to go but my mom can not pay the fees so she is sending me to government school.” I noticed that this group of kids has always either been sick, needed to work at home or their mother, “didn’t have money to buy food,” so they did not go to school.
My point is not to make you sad or break your heart. These children are incredibly strong individuals. They are resilient and can see the light in the darkest of their times. My point is not to show these children as victims but show that there is hope but we just need to find the way.
I passed a boy yesterday who was probably about 10 years old and he was so excited as he told me, “Madam, I am learning the English.” He was proud of his education.
Daily I pass by glowing students walking hand in hand to their classrooms, smiling, learning and growing. These children are going to be successful and have their own children who will also get an education because they were given the chance. They know the importance and how their life changed through education. Every child has the right to an education and deserve the chance to go, learn and shine like the other colorful students I pass on my walk to work.
The three children that are in my house that have not gone to school should also be granted that right. But how do we get to the root of this cause? If education is a main key to solve poverty how can we get those children to school? I am asking because I am unsure. I have worked with organizations who have sponsorship programs, community education and engagement programs and micro-financing opportunities. They have all done well but there are still a few that are left behind.
I believe in the power of educating communities and showing the accomplishments of other students who has been educated and fought their way out of poverty. What do you believe could work?