A few weeks ago, we introduced Memory, a bubbly and energetic student at Nsondole CDSS. Her story continues as she shares the struggles she’s had with balancing school, providing for her family, and setting herself up for her future.
Memory says that she has a lot of goals she would like to accomplish.
She’s in a family a four and the rest, three, are school dropouts from secondary school, and she has a drive; she keeps on working hard up to the extent she has reached so far.
She would like to start a business when she finishes school. She says that she is not interested in the small business that people make in their homes and sells them at the primary school, food items like fritters and popsicles, but she is thinking of a bigger business such as a having a shop in town and employing others to work in the shop. Specifically, she says she would like to sell clothes, as well as household cooking utensils.
Memory told us that she wants to set a record for the best score at Nsondole CDSS on the big government test, the MSCE. She strives toward this goal with an unbridled enthusiasm for asking questions and learning new things. She seems to know how important attending school is for her goal. Commuting the hour-and-a-half walk both ways to school can be difficult and even dangerous. During the rainy season, it can be impossible to walk through some areas, and often, girls will be harassed by boys, or worse.
Memory faces a challenge with finding lights to study
The school has introduced boarding, where students can stay nearby the school. Memory’s friends that are at the boarding have the privilege of solar electricity and lights. In her case, if she wants to study, she has go to the field to sit down to study and then come back home when there is no more sunlight. It’s something that is paining her that she doesn’t have anyone at all to help her with fees, like the boarding. She quarrels with her grandmother when she starts to bring that up. When she says at least do something, I want to go to boarding, her grandmother will say, “where else do you think I will get the money, just keep on working hard and do what you can do”. She feels if she can board near the school with those extra resources, she feels she can do better than what she is doing now.
Another challenge that Memory has right now is her uniform.
"if I wear the mini skirt... what picture will I leave behind when I finish my school?”
She got her uniform which she is wearing up to now, which she got when she was in form 2. So now the inform is short to her. She feels like part of her body is exposed or hindered. When she spoke about this, she used the word “respect”. Sometimes, physically, she is not happy about the short uniform that she has, but she doesn’t have any other option. She is worried because she works hard at school and then she sometimes thinks, “if I wear the mini skirt or mini uniform, what picture will I leave behind when I finish my school?”. And she wants to be an example to others so her short uniform is a hindrance that she faces.
Memory is a motivated, intelligent, and energetic young woman who faces these challenges to basic resources. She is frustrated by some of these challenges, yet she faces most days with big dreams and a big smile.
In the coming weeks, we will share one more story about Memory. To contribute to projects like Advanced Sponsorship and Women’s Empowerment, or to explore cross-project campaigns like the Library & Teacher Training campaign, which work toward combating complicated intersectional issues in the community, click here to see projects that are most-in-need.