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When Poverty Strikes, Education is at risk; 4 young girls skipped classes to raise money for others education!

It was a beautiful evening today sitting with my two younger sisters, all recent graduates from the University. One of them has come to spend some time in my house, the other one lives permanently with me, taking computer classes to add to her degree in Geography.

Beautiful moment I had with them. Discussions rolled. Finally, we got to talk about their educational struggles wayback in primary school. This time, tears rolled as they recount their bitter experiences as children; battling between going to school, going to farm, and facing a wild class teacher who beats pupils indiscriminately.

“Hmmm, sister, anytime I think about that very period of our lives, I cry,” my younger sister Edwina said, cleaning her teary eyes with one end of her night gown. “I’m not crying because we suffered, it’s because we have been able to overcome all the challenges that stood in our way as we climb the educational ladder; they’re actually tears of joy.”
As we were informally discussing, I then realized that we were actually talking about something much related to VOF assignment 3. I stopped and told them that I will like to share this story with my sisters in World Pulse as part of my assignment. Without thinking twice, they both agreed that I share it.

“Sister, share it, it is an experience worth sharing” Malike, my other sister said.

It all began when my dad retired in 2003. The company he worked for couldn’t pay his gratuity for years. When they finally paid, he took that money and kept in a bank. Unfortunately for him, the bank liquidated with all his money in there. Frustration flew in, the family suffered it. No gratuity, no pension for over 9 years.

Going to school wasn’t compulsory for them because they needed to follow papa and mama to the farm so that they can raise money to pay school fees for their elders – for us, who were already in secondary school in town. They really worked/raised money.

“I remember how every morning we will run to our mother and ask whether we will go to school, or go to the farm,” Edwina says. “Most often, we will go to the farm instead of going to school.”

There was hardly a day they will not go to the farm. If they happen to go to school, after school they must run towards the farm to help mum and dad carry some of the load that they were carrying back home.

“Mum will cook porridge plantains for us in the farm, tie it in a clean plantain leave, and give us when we meet them on the way after school. We will sit down by the road side and eat, and then help them with their loads of foodstuff home. That was our food for the day.” Malike recounted with tears.

The good news is that we were doing well in school. In poverty, we were passing our exams. Our younger sisters were sacrificing their education for us to succeed. Mum always told them that it is never too late to learn. She told them that when we succeed, we will turn around and send them to school.

We did not let these young laborers down. Whenever we are home, we go to the farm while they go to school. We teach them all day round so that they pass their exams. They were four intelligent young girls. God helped them, one after the other, they passed their FSLC into Secondary school. We took them with us to town, we managed with the little we had, one after the other, they made their O’Level Certificate. One after the other they made their A’Level Certificate. Gbam, they graduated from the University. Today, those 4 young laborers who almost sacrificed their education for us have succeeded. 3 are graduates looking for jobs presently, while one of them is in a nursing school. I don’t regret spending all my earnings to see them succeed, because they gave their all to see me succeed.

In my community, poverty is a big disease. Like my younger sisters, many young girls sacrifice their education for farming. Today, they have become full time farmers, married to farmers with no education to support them. In my younger sister’s University graduation in December last year, her best friend in primary school was present and she made a comment.

“If not for poverty of my parents, I would have been graduating with my friend Edwina today,” She said crying, in pidgin English.

If my younger sisters succeeded, it is because my brothers/sister and I served as mentors and guide to them. Other girls and families in the village do not have people who can advise them. They suffer out of ignorance.

Sensitization can play the trick. Whenever I go to the village, I move from home to home to find out how their girl children are faring in school. I talk to parents on the importance of girl child education. Many parents say they don’t need to be told any more, they say they admire the huge success that females of my family have achieved, and so their daughters must become like girls in my family.

All is well that ends well…thank you God!

This story was written for World Pulse’s Girls Transform the World Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring girls greater access to education which will transform their lives, their families, and communities. The Girls Transform Campaign elicits insightful content from young women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as women, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

Comments

TJ's picture

support it is

In my assignment I spoke about support and I see you have it there also - a family truly is a wonderful thing!

Love
TJ

Nakinti's picture

Dear TJ, There is nothing as

Dear TJ,
There is nothing as supportive as a family...one that really cares.
I love my family.
Thank u so much TJ.
Sending u love from Cameroon

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Stacey Rozen's picture

You are an incredible role

You are an incredible role model not just for your younger sisters but for all the girls in your community, Nakinti. You are 'paying forward' your wisdom of experience which is so admirable.

Creatively,
Stacey

Nakinti's picture

Thanks a million!

A million thanks Stacey,
If you say I am a role model, I will take it from you without thinking twice...you just made my day.
I can't stop encouraging girls to get some education, I will do it all my life.
Thank you dear for taking time to read and comment to my post...I heartily appreciate.
I am sending you a package of love from Cameroon

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Saving Angel's picture

Wow!

Nakinti, there are no words to express how I feel after reading about the struggles experienced by you and your family. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it was to make those very crucial decisions; moreover, I can't imagine how dire it must have felt during those very moments.

You are your sisters are truly an inspiration sent from God & I'm so glad to have read your piece.

Also, I just wanted to say I love the way you wrote your piece! The ways in which you incorporated your conversation with your sisters into it, made it that much more deep and emotionally driven.

Congrats to you and your sisters for overcoming the barriers in your lives!

Much love & respect xoxoxo

Nakinti's picture

Aww! Sweet heart, I know how

Aww! Sweet heart,
I know how you feel..I know exactly.
The difficulty was unbearable...thank heavens we managed to roll out of that moment.
I appreciate my mum and dad for their courage, moving from affluence (though not very rich) to extreme poverty is the most painful part of it.
Well, it is the end that matters!
Saving angel, thank you sis for stopping by....my words can't thank you enough!
Lots of love from Cameroon

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Precious M's picture

What a story!

Dear,

It is an amazing story.
I am glad that your sisters overcame their challenges and acquired education.
Sometimes we value more the things we work so hard to get.
May success never end in your home.

Much love
Precious

My pen speaks

Nakinti's picture

Thank you sis!

Dear sis,
I never thought we will be able to move out of that nightmarish situation.
God in his infinite mercies did that for us...I will forever praise his name.
You are right to say value is given to the things we worked hard to get...I value everything I have today.
Thanks sis for always supporting me with your words.
Love from Bamenda

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

bhavna's picture

Speechless!

Dear I am left speechless after reading your story.
You are blessed with a wonderful family and I am happy it ended well with all your siblings overcoming the challenges.
Best wishes to you and your lovely family
love
bhavna

Nakinti's picture

Thank you Bhavna!

Bhavna dear,
Thank you so much for your kind words.
I keep praising God for giving such a wonderful family.
And I pray for greater success in life.
Lots of love.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Nakinti's picture

Correction!

I made a small mistake in my piece and don't want to risk editing...the last time i edited, my poem disappeared leaving only the title.

***My dad retired in 1993 and not 2003.

Thanks

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Aminah's picture

If there is a will, there is a way

Very true Nakinti.
It's not poverty that holds us back. It is ignorance. If we realize the importance of education we will strive harder to get it.
If our parents realize the importance of it, they will starve but will send their children to school. If policy makers realize the importance of education, they will put on hold other issues but will prioritize education for all.

We need to ensure education for all becomes top agendas of political leaders. That's the way for development.

Thank you for being an inspiration to your sisters and also to your village people.
Wishing you all the best

Aminah

Salaam
Aminah

Nakinti's picture

Thank you Aminah!

Dear Amina,
I am happy that you agreed with me on the point that ignorance, and not poverty holds many people back from going to school. Parents too must be determined enough to wave poverty and foster education of their children.
Dear, I am inspired always by your posts and your encouraging comments...thank you.
Was just reading your piece on your educational struggle when your comment came in...great one.
Aminah dear, thank you a million.
Lots of love.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Maya Norton's picture

Nakinti, what an easy, fluid

Nakinti, what an easy, fluid style of writing you have, each story more compelling than the next.

What an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing it with us.

~ Maya

Nakinti's picture

Thank you so much maya for

Thank you so much maya for your encouraging words...you just made my day.
Thank you for stopping by my journal, reading and commenting to multiple posts...I appreciate.
Thank you dear, you are a darling.
Sending best of Sunday wishes from Cameroon

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Maya Norton's picture

My pleasure. :) ~ Maya

My pleasure. :)

~ Maya

Lyndsay's picture

You are forging a path

Nakinti, what a powerful story! I'm glad that you chose to tell the story of your sisters, which demonstrates so clearly how a family's commitment to education can make all the difference, especially for girls. You have been an amazing role model to them and it is inpiring that you continue to be a mentor and source of guidance for other girls. You are forging a path that others can follow!
Changing perceptions and attitudes of familes toward girls education is a big first step, but economic barriers are often insurmountable unless government policies are in place to support poor families. I wonder what solutions you would propose to your government to ensure that girls like Edwina don't have to make the choice between school and farming?
Great writing! I look forward to reading more!
Lyndsay

Nakinti's picture

Dear Lyndsay, I am always

Dear Lyndsay,
I am always itching to tell my stories to others because I know that my experiences may inspire someone and even trigger a little change, somehow.
I also learn a lot from others experiences right here on World Pulse.
I love my sisters and I will continue to give them all the support they need so that they can reach higher heights in education.
Thank you Lyndsay for stopping by and making comments to my post.
Love you.
Sending you love from Cameroon...always.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Riya's picture

Great Example!!

Thank you very much for sharing personal story with us Nakinti. You and your family are the perfect example of overcoming all obstacles we face in our lives. As you mentioned, poverty is big disease which is often hard to overcome and often women are the ones who feel the worst of it.

Great Job.

Riya

Nakinti's picture

Thank you so much, Riya, for

Thank you so much, Riya, for reading and making such beautiful comments about my post.
I and my family are nothing but happy for overcoming all the hurdles that stood on our way to success.
Thanks dear.
Sending you sincere love from Cameroon.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

Elizabeth Kipp-Giusti's picture

A Warm Personal Story

Nakinti,

Thank you for such a courageous and honest story. Your experience is both personal and universal; many of the difficulties and struggles you and your sisters faced are written about on World Pulse every day. It is a comfort to know that you overcame these roadblocks with the help of a supportive and loving family.

Education, coupled with care, is the most important gift we can give to the next generation. Your heart is full of generosity and I am thrilled to be able to share in your kindness in some small way.

All my best,
Elizabeth

Nakinti's picture

My dear Eliza, it takes a lot

My dear Eliza, it takes a lot of courage to share this story, I can't count how many times i cleaned tears from my cheek as I was putting letters and words together to share this story. I am the happiest woman on earth for overcoming these roadblocks. I will not stop to encourage other families to send thier daughters to school, never will I stop.
Thank you dear Eliza for your consoling and encouraging words...I honestly appreciate.
I am sending you a package of honest loving from Cameroon.
<3 <3 <3

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

CatherineSakala's picture

Bravo

My God this is so inspiring. I think one of the problems communities facing poverty have is lack of a source of encouragement and mentorship. As a result people give up on things ever getting better.
I am encouraged by your family...Out of suffering came the strength to excel. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful and touching story. I had teary eyes reading it.

Catherine Sakala
Entomologist and Parasitologist- Zambia

Nakinti's picture

Dear Catherine, If poverty is

Dear Catherine,
If poverty is accompanied by loss of hope and lack of mentorship, the situation worsens.
My family situation is one ever fresh experience on ma mind.
Thank God for his mercies and compassion.
Thank you Catherine for reading and making comments to this post...I appreciate.
Sending you warm greetings from Cameroon.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

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