EDUCATION PREVENTS EXPLOITATION OF VULNERABLE CHILDREN
Eight-year-old Alice dreams of becoming a nurse and she is working hard at school to make her dream come true.
Her school is the Sargy Education Centre on Rusinga Island, Lake Victoria, Kenya, which is supported by Blythswood Romania to give educational opportunities to more than 270 children from very-low-income families.
Alice’s situation is not unusual in her community. When she was born, her mother was still a schoolgirl. Now she lives with her grandmother who also cares for two other children. Their only income is from the sale of firewood: in a good month they can make £12 or £13 which is barely enough for food.
Alice was malnourished when she first enrolled at Sargy. But two cooked meals every school day have made her strong. Now she is able to concentrate on her lessons. Luo is her mother tongue but at school she is learning both Kiswahili and English, as well as maths, science and religious knowledge.
And she has energy to play netball and swim in the lake when she has finished her chores at home – cooking, gathering firewood and fetching water.
“Without a place at Sargy school, children such as Alice would remain malnourished and illiterate,” says Balazs Halmen who visits the project on behalf of Blythswood Romania. “And as they get older, girls especially are in danger of exploitation unless they are in school.
“Since joining Sargy, Alice has become a much happier and healthier child.”
Photo above: cooking outside is not easy for Alice’s grandmother as the wind can blow dust into the food.
Photo above: Alice gets good marks at science and would like to be a nurse.