Salamatou is 55 years old. She earns money by preparing and selling food for snacks to school children at recess. Salamatou was the youngest of seven children. Due to the generosity of her siblings who paid for her schooling, she attended primary school, but her years of dreaming to be a nurse were over when she didn’t pass the 6th grade national exam. As with most girls in Niger, Salamatou was not allowed to repeat her final year of school and test again. Instead, she married at a young age and had six children.
Despite setbacks, Salamatou has maintained a positive attitude throughout her life and has no regrets. The experience changed her life’s course drastically, but instead of falling into despair, Salamatou has found a career surrounded by school children and has dedicated herself to making sure that each of her children and grandchildren can go further with their education than she did.
Salamatou has not let hardships or disappointments deter her. One of her sons recently passed away. In Niger, fatherless children are considered orphans. Without missing a beat, Salamatou and her husband took their grandchildren into their home.
She is now focused on making sure that each grandchild attends school. She pays for their educations from her own income. Salamatou knows first-hand how hard she has had to work for meager wages and how important an education is. With an education, you can get a good job, support yourself and help others. This belief in helping others and the importance of education is common in Niger. And it is Salamatou’s hope that she will pass along her belief in education and generosity.