Antoinette is going back to school and dreams of being a nurse

education of vulnerable children in DRC

Ensuring education for the most vulnerable children (UNICEF Germany 2012 Mrazikova)

EDUCATION – Thanks to the intervention of a community facilitator, little Antoinette has gone back to school: she now dreams of being a nurse to relieve people’s pain.

Life thrown into turmoil one day in October 2014

Antoinette, together with her brother and sister, were leading a quiet and peaceful life in Kindu in Maniema province. They had a happy childhood and enjoyed all the attention necessary. One day in October 2014, their life was thrown into turmoil when their mother died.

Antoinette was then 6 years old, her sister was 4 and her elder brother was 8. The three of them were sent to their grandmother who lived in rural Tshumbe in Sankuru province. From afar, their father continued to send money to supplement the meagre resources obtained from the land.

Two years after their arrival in Tshumbe, their father also died. Antoinette had no choice but to drop out of school help her grandmother sell firewood and brooms to earn some money. However, it was not enough. The children’s future was uncertain.

Intervention of a Community Facilitator

In September 2016, fortune smiled on the three children. A Community Facilitator came to talk to the grandmother about getting the children back to school.

After three meetings, young Antoinette was registered as a “vulnerable child”: she would be able to go back to school without her grandmother having to pay a single penny. As for her little sister she was enrolled in the first year of primary school. The two of them obtained a certificate declaring them as destitute and received school supplies for their school year.

“When I don’t turn up at school, our teacher comes to see me at the house. I can’t even be absent for one day.”

Young girls with big dreams

Since the start of the school year 2016-2017, Antoinette and her younger sister have been continuing their studies and taking part in all activities organised by the school.

Antoinette is beaming and doesn’t hide her joy as she says she wants to become a nurse at the end of her studies.

“I will be a nurse. In my white dress I will try to relieve people’s pain. I also dream of building a big house in which to live with my grandmother, my little sister and my elder brother.”

Ensuring education for the most vulnerable children

Antoinette’s grandmother is happy for her granddaughters. She encourages education for young girls so they can find their place in society.

Let’s not forget that education is a right for all children (Article 28 of the CRC). Social protection initiatives are particularly important for young girls and the most vulnerable children.

It is thanks to education that Antoinette has found hope for her future. There are many young girls who, like Antoinette, are awaiting a little support for their education and their future.

More info about education of vulnerable children in DRC :

 

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Sylvi Lovwa

Sylvie Lovwa est C4D Officer au bureau de Mbuji-Maji

Sylvie Lovwa isC4D Officer at UNICEF Mbuji-Maji

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