Fourteen-year-old Mamy in Bangladesh has grit and determination behind her beautiful smile.
Millions of children step out of poverty simply by going to school. But no child can take that step on an empty stomach and with an empty schoolbag. It takes nutritious food, uniform and books to learn and grow healthily.
Tradition in rural Bangladesh discourages girls from attending school, however, so it has taken tremendous courage for Mamy to get this far. Next year, she will be the first girl in her family to pass the national secondary school exams – if she can stay in education.
“My parents can’t give me a school dress and the teachers in the school hit us in front of all the students if we don’t wear one,” says Mamy. “Very often, I’ve cried on my own when I’ve seen all the others going to school with school dresses on, but I can’t.”
She adds: “I can’t buy schoolbooks or a school dress, I can’t pay my tuition fees and many days pass without a meal.
With no alternative, Mamy’s sisters married at a young age and her parents have mentioned the same fate for her.
Speaking earnestly, she adds: “I dream of being a nurse and doing a good job, but the lack of financial support now may blow out any candle of hope.”
Photo©2015 World Vision, Gloria Das