Nang’edai’s Journey to Enlightenment
Hope For A Better Future
Nang’edai never attended school as a child. She was born into a large family that could not afford to send their children to school and as with many impoverished East African families, the children needed to earn money for the household. At only ten years of age, Nang’edai began working in a house far from her own village. The position that her parents had found for her required her to clean the house and care for a newborn baby. Throughout most of her teen years, she worked hard every day as a servant, but she remained hopeful that life would hold more for her in the future. Nang’edai relied on her positive mind to keep her going.
The Day Nang’edai Followed The Other Children To School
Nang’eda admitted that despite all the challenges that she faced as a child, she always had curiosity about education and a deep desire to fit in.
“I was always curious to know where do all the children go in the morning, as I was doing my chores, my mind would always wonder what would school be like,” Nang’edai said.
One day, no longer able to restrain her curiosity, Nang’edai decided to follow the other children to school. By this time, she was 17 years old and still working full-time to support her family. When Nang’edai reached the school, the other children were making fun of her and she burst into tears. It was this very moment that a teacher noticed her and listened with compassion to her story. Nang’edai expressed her interest to join school and to be like other kids and the teacher promised to help her. Over the next few weeks, Nang’edai’s employers resisted allowing her to attend classes, but the persistent teachers refused to take no for an answer.
Nang’edai was elated to begin attending primary education classes and by age 20, she completed her primary education. Having made so much progress, Nang’edai was encouraged to continue pursuing her education but her path would not be free from obstacles yet.
Empowerment Through Education
The completion of Nang’edai’s primary education brought so much happiness, but was followed by an unforeseen development. Just as Nang’edai’s impoverished parents had sent her to work at age ten, now they had again made plans for her life at age twenty. Nang’edai’s family had arranged a marriage for her without consulting her.
Nang’edai’s classes had educated her about her rights as a woman and the dreams that she could allow herself to embrace. With the help of a priest in early September, Nang’edai found her way out of the marriage arrangement that her family made for her.
Nang’edai is elated to be continuing her education by participating in Asante Africa’s Bridge the Gap Course in an effort to prepare herself to attend secondary school. The Bridge the Gap Course assists students with English proficiency, science, math, and ICT skills while supplying students with the necessary materials, meals, and accommodations to support their learning process.
Hope and perseverance have lifted Nang’edai out of her life of hard labor and arranged marriage, but many young girls in East Africa face similar hardships and only education and encouragement can empower them to pursue their own goals. Nang’edai’s dream is to one day become a teacher so she can help ensure that every girl can access education.
WRITTEN BY: Shauna White
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