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Never ending stories of girls

Amperi, ready to go for 3 hrs of hiking for collecting firewood

Amperi, a 11 years old girl, is getting ready to join her girl friends to collect firewood immediately after having morning meal. Washed her face and used a shawl as towel and went to kitchen and get leftover rice which was also less than half of her regular and took some salt and chilly along and packed in the shawl and tighten in her wrest. Again ran inside and came up with big axe and get it inside her wrest and locked by the shawl. Now, is all ready to join her group of friends. She is happy as they are going to chat and sing songs and enjoy in forest while collecting the wood. She did not feel tired even though she just came back from collecting bushes for the domestics and rushing to meet her friends. While she was leaving there was a big smile in her face.

A group of girls of age 8 to 14 was coming down to village with about 30 to 40 kilograms of wood on their back in doko. The load was highly dominating their weight. A 30 kilograms weighted girl carries 30 to 40 kilograms of load everyday, wow! When they got near I recognized that they were Amperi and group, looking tired and hungry. They left at 9 am in the morning and it's already 5pm, exact hours of their school.

The school remained close most of the time, even if it opened there were only two or three teachers and they were also busy chatting in the office room while the students of Early Child Development (ECD) were playing the role of teacher and student turn by turn and rest of the student in the school were hanging around and playing. Most of the students were boys and girls were absent. It's the scenario of the school in Mugu.

Amperi, who was already feeling sleepy, pushed her plate near to her mother asking for plenty of dahl (lentil). But her mother pushed it back to her without serving. She understood that she is not going to get dahl (lentil) so, continue with rice only. Her family (mother, father, brother, sister in law, niece, me and herself ) were having dinner together at 8 pm. Me, her brother and niece were served with curd, dahl (lentil) and rice while her mother, sister in law and she had rice and dahl. Rest of the member got dahl (lentil) added but except her.

The environment of school, careless behavior of teachers and parents, deep rooted patriarchal society and lack of information, empowerment and motivation all are together draging girls like Amperi out of school resulting on early marriage and early child bearing.

Amperi and group, returning back with 30 to 40 kgs of firewoods on their back
Amperi, collection of bushes for domestics


pelamutunzi's picture

story hearbreaking

this is sad and so true. this story is common here in zimbabwe too for girls in the rural areas and lately urban areas as well. so what is being done to help girls like amperi. is there any hope or there is still along road ahead. why does her mother refuse to give her the dahl. is it a specialty specially reserved for certain people?

PS-thanks for the photos as well made the story come to life.

we may be powerless to stop an injustice but let there never be a time we fail to protest.

litsunita's picture

dahl is a lentil go usually

dahl is a lentil go usually to accompany rice. Providing less food, adding work load, yelling at them, beating are also one of the sign that now parents want s their daughters to elope. In this part of Nepal elope marriage (child) is very high. but we can see indirect pressure of parents and society in it.
There are few organizations working and Government is also encouraging girl education but still there is a long way to go.

do share some stories of Zimbabwe. Would love to go through them.

lOve Sunita

Nadz's picture

Sad story

This is such a sad story, isn't anyone working to change this for these poor girls? I hope there are changes soon.

Life is just for living

Mukut's picture

30 kilos weighted girl carries

How unfortunate and sad. A child has to carry so much load everyday. Hate to read about child marriage and dropping out of schools. Resonates with the situation my country faces too.

Hope for a brighter future for them all.


Mukut Ray

What struck me was her beautiful smile in spite of the burdens and challenges she faces. What do you predict her future to be? Marriage at 12, motherhood at 14?

Therese kasindi's picture


So Sad this story is!
I couldn't know if such a situation can occur outside of Congo.
We have to work hard in order to change our world my sister.
Don't worry, we will win.

THERESE( Maman Shujaa, Drc)

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