Many of our changemakers are fighting to achieve gender equality in their communities. Between these, there is Luc. He focuses on the girl education. In his country girls are forced by parents to leave school to engage in income generating activities and marriage. KidsRights is supporting his work at combating girls’ school dropouts and early unwanted pregnancies and marriage.
This is a story of hope about Marina. She is an orphan girl of 16 years old, who was forced by her caregiver to abandon school in January 2017 to help the family in earning money through petty business and by selling fruits to nearby restaurants.
Marina was only 14 when she was obliged to drop out of school. She was then forced to sell mangoes and ripe bananas in different restaurants in Nyarugusu refugee camp and in surrounding villages. Through this business she was earning only 3500 Tanzanian shillings (1.5$ US) per day, not enough to support her caregiver’s family. Consequently, she was obliged to engage in unprotected prostitution, with restaurants’ customers, owners and servants.
Invited to take part in both training and brainstorming sessions on children rights and reproductive health through Luc’s project, Marina shared her life story and experience with friends and other girls participating in the sessions. She asked Luc and other volunteers to visit her family, so to get permission to go back to school, after leaving it for 2 years.
These amazing changemakers went to meet Marina’s caregiver and asked to release her from fruits’ business to let her get back to school. After a 2 days discussion, during which the village leader and Marina’s school headmaster were also involved, Marina’s caregiver accepted to take charge of selling the fruits to allow Marina to attend school and join the Vocational training center, where she is now taking a three months course in female dressing, while waiting for the school to re–open a new school year in March 2020. Marina started this course in December 2019, and she finds it enjoyable. Marina’s plan is to get back to school and take her diploma.