“It’s important that I know how to read and write because the school might send me a note to come and meet with them about my children but I could not read it so I would not go.”
I met Esperence coincidentally. I was in a village meeting with the Chief and community members about War Child Canada’s education program for girls and she was there. She had taken part in a literacy and numeracy program the organization had run in 2014 and wanted to be a part of more of War Child’s work. She had decided to join a Community Education Committee, established by War Child to help address some of the local issues facing girls’ education.
The journey to get to the village was not a long distance but took a while. Winding along Lake Tanganyika, the road passes through multiple village and several rivers – literally THROUGH the rivers. It’s dusty and bumpy. We’re one of the few vehicles on the road. Motorcycles and bicycles are loaded down with goods being moved from one market to the next. Women are walking along the sides, firewood and water piled high on their heads and backs.
Esperence never went to school herself. At 25 years of age she has three daughters and one son, ranging in age from 7 to 2 years old. She was married at 16. When she’s not volunteering with War Child Canada, she spends her days farming peanuts, beans and maize, amongst other crops. She dreams of a better future for her children and her enthusiasm for education is clear.