What do students of the schools we support do after they graduate? Where do they work? How does a quality education impact their lives?
Statistics tell us that a quality education equals an improved quality of life for people in developing countries. This is particularly true for women. According to the USAID website, “When girls are educated, their families are healthier, they have fewer children, they wed later, and they have more opportunities to generate income. One extra year of primary school boosts a girl’s future wage 10 to 20 percent.” But, statistics are one thing and individual lives another. How do these statistics and facts translate into individual lives?
Meet one of our graduates:
I liked Hannatou immediately when I met her at the world-renowned Fistula Hospital in Danja. We were there for a tour of the hospital on our last trip. I needed to use the bathroom and Isti, the director of the boarding school, asked Hannatou if she would help me find a restroom. As we weaved our way through a maze of rooms and hallways she told me about her job as an orderly at the hospital. Her husband is a nurse at the main hospital, which is adjacent to the Fistula Hospital. She is proud and excited about the work that is being done and the part she is playing. Her passion and enthusiasm were infectious.
When we returned to the group, Isti told me that Hannatou had attended the Tsibiri Boarding School and had graduated from the 6th grade. When I asked her if she had passed the 6th grade exam, she said, “Of course!” Isti then told me that her twin boys were now at the school and in 2nd grade. He chuckled as he explained how the boys had arrived at the school.
Two years ago, Hannatou had called him and announced that her boys were ready for school. Isti politely told Hannatou that, unfortunately, there were no places left for the boys. The next day Hannatou arrived at the boarding school with the boys in tow and all of their boarding and school supplies. She told Isti that of course there were places for her boys. And, sure enough, they were able to make room for them!