Opportunity in Broken Chalk
Amina with her siblings, and behind them the brown chalkboard that Amina uses to teach them.
As a sponsored child, Amina – 11, from Tanzania – is able to go to school. But her siblings aren’t as fortunate. To help give them a future, too, she collects pieces of broken chalk along what she learns and brings it all home to teach her siblings herself!
Ordinarily, broken chalk never meant much to most children, except perhaps for the purpose of pelting one another with the fragments. While most fifth-graders dash out of class and head home, 11-year-old Amina and a few others linger behind, quickly gathering leftover chalk from the day’s lessons.
With enough saved-up chalk pieces, Amina will put them to good use: to teach her siblings when she visits them at her father’s house. During the school term, she lives with her mother on the coast of Tanga region of Tanzania. During the school holidays, she travels over to a different village where her father, siblings, and stepmother reside.
“After school hours, I go round all classrooms to pick up pieces of chalk left on the floor so that during the holiday I make a blackboard and can teach my siblings what I was taught in school. When I am on my holiday, I visit my father and there is where I get the chance to teach my siblings. But I received text books and exercise books from World Vision so I know and I can teach my siblings to read and write,” Amina says.
Amina is a sponsored child, and her school was built by World Vision Tanzania. It is here where she gathers the chalk remnants, broken pieces that are giving her brothers and sisters a glimpse of a brighter future.
Through partnerships with local families, community groups, faith-based organizations, and governments, World Vision works to break the cycle of poverty, create long-term changes, and help to ensure that over time, all children in the community benefit from improved access to healthcare, education, clean water and sanitation, nutritious food, and the chance to participate in decisions affecting their lives.
“My siblings did not get the chance to go to school because my family faced some challenges. It hurt me a lot, so when am in class I listen carefully so that I will help my brothers and sisters when I go home on holiday. I see a bright future ahead of me and also I want the same for my siblings,” Amina says.
“I thank World Vision and my sponsor for enabling me to reach this point,” she continues. “I can now help my younger sisters at home to read and write, and I know that next year they will all be going to school and they will be the best students because they have learned a lot even before they have started their studies.”
By Lena Renju
(Photo: 2014 Jessica Biseko/World Vision)
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